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Scottish acting legend, James Cosmo, has spoken of the “magical quality” of films shot in Scotland as VisitScotland launches its new-look guide to big screen locations.
The star of iconic Scottish films, Highlander, Braveheart and Trainspotting, and TV fantasy series, Game of Thrones, pens the foreword to the national tourism organisation’s revamped guidebook, Set in Scotland.
The 52-page guide features more than 150 films which have been shot entirely or partially in Scotland – 46 more than the previous version first published in 2015 – and details more than 100 film locations. It is available in VisitScotland iCentres across the country and can be downloaded from visitscotland.com.Set in Scotland
Screen tourism – or set-jetting – is a global trend in which film or TV fans are inspired to visit a location after seeing it on screen. It comes in the form of visiting the exact filming location or providing the general motivation to book a holiday to the destination.
The trend is long-term, with many visitors citing film titles released long before their trip as motivation, and so can provide ongoing financial support to the regions and businesses linked to popular locations.
VisitScotland hopes the new-look guide will offer further inspiration for visitors to explore across the regions, while providing a resource for the industry to create new experiences as part of Scotland’s national strategy to rebuild the visitor economy and ensure sustainable tourism thrives.
Previous research has shown that 17% of visitors from Scotland’s top international markets (USA, France and Germany) visit a film or TV location while on holiday in Scotland, while a recent Screen Scotland report valued screen tourism at £55 million to the national economy, based on those visiting film and TV locations, creating 1220 full-time jobs.
To date, Scotland has appeared in five of the top 30 highest grossing films of all time, which have brought in a total of $10.6 billion* at the box office worldwide. Among them are Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which showed off Edinburgh’s gothic architecture and the quaint fishing village of St Abbs, respectively.
“We work hard to plan these projects with Location Managers and have a great relationship with film crews, many of which have worked with us numerous times and given us the ‘Film Crew Friendly’ badge. Our Railway and Museum are run almost entirely by volunteers of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) which is a Scottish charity, and all income helps fund the restoration and preservation of Scotland’s railway heritage, so we are extra grateful to be able to receive the financial support the TV and film productions bring.”Councillor Paul Garner, Economic Development Portfolio Holder at Falkirk Council,
“The Falkirk area’s starring role in movie and TV film hits such as Outlaw King, World War Z, and Outlander, using the area’s unique and fantastic heritage locations, continues to inspire visitor interest from throughout the UK and aboard from those keen to chase the movie and television production magic.It is fitting the launch is at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway which has been used many times in productions with Bo’ness also the home to Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema, the Hippodome. Set in Scotland will continue to highlight incredible places within Scotland which the Falkirk area is pleased to play its important part and reach out to a different market bringing in more visitors to Scotland.”
Set in Scotland covers the last 90 years, from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 version of The 39 Steps, in which UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Forth Bridge, appears, to The Road Dance, which was filmed on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides during the pandemic and released in May this year. Alien, Avengers, Batman, Fast & Furious, and James Bond, are among the global film franchises to have come to Scotland.
As part of the redesign, the guide labels each film by genre, features QR codes with links to film themed content on visitscotland.com, and contains a new section, Monarchs of the Glens, which focuses on those films linked to Scotland’s kings and queens, from Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the Oscar-winning The Queen.
For more on screen tourism and to download Set in Scotland:www.visitscotland.com/film
Screen Scotland report: https://www.screen.scot/funding-and-support/research/economic-value-of-screen-sector-in-scotland-in-2019
VisitScotland research on screen tourism: The influence of film, TV and literature on tourism - Research | VisitScotland.org*
Acting legend James Cosmo launches VisitScotland new-look guide to big screen locations