'Outlander' Boosts Tourism to Scotland

Ed Miller/Sony Pictures Television

The breakout Starz time-travel drama, which has yet to premiere in the U.K., has led to tens of thousands of Americans taking 'Outlander'-themed tours.

Seemingly, Outlander and Game of Thrones have very little in common, but both shows can now claim to have boosted tourism to the U.K. 

The Herald of Scotland reports that the success of Outlander has led to a surge in American visitors to Scotland, with tourism board VisitScotland revealing that the Outlander section on it's website has been visited 175,000 times since last August, and various Scottish tour companies have experienced a 500 percent increase in bookings for Outlander-themed tours. 

Based on the best-selling books of Diana Gabaldon, the Sony Pictures Television show, which is shot in a studio in Cumbernauld and on location at Doune Castle and Culross, has been such a boon to tourism in the area, VisitScotland is dedicating more marketing activity linked to the time-travel drama in the U.S., Germany and the U.K. when the show finally debuts locally on Amazon Prime on Thursday.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "Scotland is the land that inspired Outlander, and it is great to see the television series has already had such a positive impact on Scottish tourism. With 40 percent of visitors to the U.K. inspired to come here after seeing a location on film or on television, a major TV series being shot on location in Scotland carries huge potential benefits for the tourism industry."

Outlander's success in attracting visitors to Scotland mirrors Thrones boosting the economy of Northern Ireland, where the majority of the show is filmed. Thrones can still claim a wider impact, having also boosted tourism in Spain and Croatia.

Outlander returns to Starz on April 4, with the final eight episodes of the first season. The show has already been renewed for a second season of at least 13 episodes and will be based on Gabaldon's second in the eight-book series, Dragonfly in Amber.