Tourism destinations outside the capital such as Falkirk and West Lothian will feature in the new campaign launched by VisitScotland.
Film on Forth is a collaboration between Visit Falkirk and Visit West Lothian and will use a range of digital itineraries, Maps and videos to highlight the filming locations in the area.
By promoting filming in the area, the project will help inject an economic benefit to the area with film tourists perhaps spending more time in the locations.
VisitScotland have supported the initiative with a £15,000 VisitScotland Growth Fund Award which funds partnership marketing campaigns such as this.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop met with partners from VisitScotland, Visit Falkirk and Visit West Lothian on Thursday at Midhope Castle (Lallybroch Castle in Outlander) as the funding was announced.
Film tourism is known to be big in the country with the Outlander effect a definite impact on tourism numbers. Visitor numbers to Linlithgow Palace and Blackness Castle have increased after parts of Outlaw King were shot at the palace and the castle was one of the many locations used in Outlander. And the campaign plans to work with cinemas such as the Hippodrome in Bo’ness, the oldest purpose built cinema in the country to promote itineraries, maps and videos.
Local businesses can learn about how to get the benefit out of the campaign at a Screen Tourism event to be held shortly.
Jenni Steel, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland’s Growth Fund award is all about celebrating collaborative campaigns which use innovative digital marketing to grow Scotland’s visitor economy. We are delighted to support this fantastic initiative where Visit Falkirk and Visit West Lothian have recognised the benefit of working together to showcase the remarkable number of filming locations in the area to encourage more visitors to travel here, stay longer and spend more.”
Emma Chalmers, Board Director for Visit West Lothian, said: “West Lothian has experienced a real boom in visitors, many of which come because of our connections to Film and TV. With Linlithgow finding itself at the heart of Outlander filming locations, we hope that by working with Visit Falkirk, Visit Scotland, and partners, Visit West Lothian will continue to promote the area to a worldwide audience.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: ““Film and TV influences are a big draw for visitors coming to Scotland, and they can play a key role in ensuring the benefits of tourism are spread across Scotland.
“This guide will help encourage tourists to venture beyond our cities and visit places such as Falkirk and West Lothian, where major productions are filmed. I am pleased to see agencies such as Visit Falkirk and Visit West Lothian collaborating to draw visitors to Midhope Castle, perhaps better known as the famous Lallybroch in Outlander, and the surrounding area.
“We recognise that film and TV influenced tourism brings a significant boost to Scotland’s economy, creates jobs, and enhances our international reputation. The Scottish Government is committed to strengthening our screen sector and promoting Scotland as a top spot for producing great films and television series.”
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said: “The Falkirk area has seen a huge growth in tourism but we are keen to ensure we sustain this growth. By highlighting and promoting the wide range of film locations within our areas this helps us reach out to a different market and bring in more visitors to the area. We are delighted to have received support from the Visit Scotland Growth Fund to allow us to pool resources with Visit West Lothian and a number of partners to provide us with a budget to promote this sector in a positive manner.”
The campaign has received additional support from Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, Falkirk Delivers, Linlithgow Town Centre BID, Vue Cinemas and Falkirk Community Trust.
The Outlander Effect & Tourism paper, published by VisitScotland, reveals that attractions used in the popular television series Outlander have seen visitor numbers soar by 67% since 2013, from 887,000 to 1.5 million. Since the show first aired in 2014, Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian has seen a 49.69% increase in visitor numbers while Blackness Castle in Falkirk has seen a 252.6% increase.