VisitScotland: Riding the crest of an Outlander wave

Published on : Thursday, April 21, 2016

VisitScotland wevAn historic ship that plays a starring role in Outlander is helping to showcase Scotland to a group of influential tour operators from North America.


An afternoon tea on Reaper, which is berthed at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife, is a highlight of a four-day fam trip organised by VisitScotland as part of this week’s expo trade show.


The fishing vessel, which was launched in 1901, is seen in the first episode of series two of the hit television show, during which protagonists Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser can be seen arriving at the French port of Le Havre.


The scene was shot at Dysart Harbour, which is situated further down the Fife coastline and which is also on the itinerary for the group of 16 SCOTSagents from the United States and Canada.


SCOTSagents are tour operators who have completed an online VisitScotland training course that gives them the knowledge and resources to promote Scotland. On completion of the course, they are given the SCOTSagents endorsement that gives them a competitive edge when organising holidays.


Other Outlander filming locations featuring on the fam trip, which finishes on Sunday, include:


Doune Castle, Stirling – which doubles as Castle Leoch in the television series
• Falkland, Fife –1940s Inverness
• Culross – the village of Cranesmuir
• Drummond Castle Gardens, Perthshire – the grounds of the Palace of Versailles
• Deanston Distillery, Stirling – a warehouse in Le Havre
• Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, West Lothian – wartime London railway station
• Hopetoun House, South Queensferry – the home of the Duke of Sandringham


It is not the first time a VisitScotland expo fam trip has been based around a screen icon, with a group of international tour operators enjoying a James Bond-themed journey around Scotland in 2014 and a cinema and literary journey last year.


Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Our VisitScotland expo fam trips always prove extremely popular among tour operators, as it gives them the chance to explore the country they help to promote. This Outlander excursion features a variety of stunning locations and visitor attractions used in both series one and series two, and we hope that, as a result, these will become firm fixtures for potential holiday makers.


“North America is a huge market for Outlander fans and, with 40 per cent of visitors inspired to come to the UK after seeing a location on film or on television, it is important that we continue to promote Scotland on the back of the show’s popularity.”

Based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon, the Outlander television series is produced by Sony Pictures Television. The second series is currently being shown in the UK by Amazon Prime.


VisitScotland expo is Scotland’s premier business-to-business travel trade event, with expo 2016 taking place at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, from 20-21 April.


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