Out­landish tourists boost US vis­i­tors to record high

Hit TV drama hailed for fu­elling more ar­rivals from States

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Keith Weir

Scot­land’s his­toric cas­tles, stun­ning scenery and bustling ci­ties are lu ring more Amer­i­can tourists than ever be­fore.

Record num­bers of peo­ple from the US have come to Scot­land this year seek­ing his­tory, cul­ture and“life en­rich­ment”, ac­cord­ing to re­search by VisitS­cot­land.

This has been sparked by the coun­try’s ap­pear­ance in re­cent films and TV pro­grammes, es­pe­cially historical sci- fi drama Out­lander, the tourist body has said.

Around 713,000 Amer­i­cans vis­ited Scot­land in the 12 months til June this year and the num­bers were up 71% in the first half to 2017 com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

US tourists spent an es­ti­mated £ 761 mil­lion dur­ing av­er­age stays of nine days.

The re­port said: “In gen­eral, Scot­land is viewed as a coun­try of great nat­u­ral beauty, rich in his­tory and cul­ture.

“It typ­i­cally ap­peals to the dis­cern­ing USA trav­eller who may see travel as a means of life en­rich­ment, re­lax­ation and men­tal re­fresh­ment.

“There is a per­cep­tion that Scot­land is a special kind of des­ti­na­tion for a so­phis­ti­cated and in­de­pen­dent minded US trav­eller – a lo­ca­tion that not every­one flocks to.”

VisitS­cot­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Mal­colm Roug­head added: “The Out­lander ef­fect has played a sig­nif­i­cant part in help­ing at­tract vis­i­tors from the US, tak­ing the coun­try by storm since the re­lease of the pop­u­lar TV se­ries.

“Some of our most loved historical at­trac­tions, such as Doune Cas­tle and Black­ness Cas­tle, have shown stag­ger­ing in­creases in vis­i­tor num­bers as the se­ries brings to life as­pects of Scot­land’s his­tory, our peo­ple and cul­ture.

“This has un­doubt­edly led to re­newed in­ter­est in an­ces­tral tourism within the Amer­i­can mar­ket.

“But in­stead of re­search­ing roots, these vis­i­tors wish to walk in the foot­steps of their an­ces­tors, vis­it­ing the re­gions where they lived and share the ex­pe­ri­ences they once had here.”

Out­lander, left, has taken the US by storm and, right, a sculp­ture called Tourists at Na­tional Gal­leries of Scot­land

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