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Visit Scotland | Alba


  • Scotland has a wealth of TV programmes, films, and books which are set in Scotland or have links to Scotland in some way.
  • Stories play a role in inspiring visitors to come to Scotland. Often, they act as a prompt to visit, particularly for European and long-haul markets.
  • According to our latest Scotland Visitor Survey, one in five visitors said that film, TV or literature was a source of inspiration when deciding on Scotland.
  • On this page, you will find insights on film, TV, and literature and tips on how to capitalise on screen tourism.

Key statistics


overnight screen tourists in Scotland in 2019*

£64.9 million

visitor expenditure for Scottish businesses as a result of screen tourism activities*


of UK adults believe Scotland is a nation known for its film and TV locations**


of UK adults believe Scotland is a nation known for its well-known poets, authors and writers**

Source: * Screen Scotland ** YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,343 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13 - 14 July 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)

1. What is screen and literature tourism?

Screen tourism is when a visitor wants to go to a particular location because it has a connection to a certain film or TV series. This is similar to literary tourism, where a place attracts people because it has become associated with an author or a place within their work.

Screen tourism is known by many other names, among which film tourism, set-setting, and film-induced tourism. But at its heart, it's always about providing a visitor with a personal experience of a place they're familiar with through film or TV.

Stories are intertwined through the fabric of Scotland, its landscape, heritage, culture, and people. These have contributed and inspired writers to chronicle real events or weave myths and create legends. They are also at the heart of the tourism experience.

The use of stories by destinations and tourism businesses does increasingly:

  • attract people’s attention
  • create an emotional connection
  • make destinations stand out in a sea of content and advertising

2. Scotland Visitor Survey 2023

In 2023, we commissioned the Scotland Visitor Survey to gather insight on visitor attitudes and behaviours. The scope of the survey was leisure overnight visitors only.

The survey explores all aspects of the visitor experience in Scotland. Further information on the background, methodology, and key highlights from the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 is also available.

More information on the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023.

Key insights on film, TV and literature

Film, TV, and literature play a role in inspiring visitors to come to Scotland. They help to showcase Scotland, particularly to our overseas visitors.

One in five visitors (19%) said that film, TV, or literature was a source of inspiration. This rose to 36% for European visitors and 37% for long haul visitors.

Over 30 different films and 20 different books / authors were cited by visitors. This showed that a breadth of film, TV, and literature provided a source of inspiration to visit Scotland. Outlander, Harry Potter, and Braveheart continue to be the standout items mentioned.

Films also have a longevity of influence on visitors, well beyond the release year of a film. Examples of older films cited include Local Hero and The Wickerman, which have seen their fortieth and fiftieth release anniversaries respectively in 2023.

Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 - film and TV


Published April 2024

3. The value of Scotland's film and TV industries

Screen Scotland publish comprehensive studies on the economic value of the screen sector in Scotland. Their 2019 and 2021 reports look at topics like development and production, TV broadcast, distribution, exhibitions, and screen tourism.

Read about the economic value of screen sector in Scotland on

4. How can businesses get involved

Capitalise on the Outlander effect on tourism

Look at how your business might benefit from the impact of the popular Outlander TV series, adapted from author Diana Gabaldon’s novels, on Scottish tourism. This industry focused research also provides top tips to capitalise on the Outlander effect.

The Outlander Effect & Tourism

Published June 2022

This topic paper is currently under review

Capitalise on the success of the Year of Stories (2022)

This year celebrated and promoted the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature and film to local tales, the year aim encouraged locals and visitors to connect to all forms of our stories, past and present.

Soul seeking in a destination – the importance of storytelling in tourism

Published February 2022

This topic paper is currently under review

Further tips to capitalise on screen tourism

  • Identify the opportunities

    Are you near a location used in a famous film, or a place connected to an author of a popular book? Take a look at our Set in Scotland guide and do some research to discover local opportunities.

    Browse our Set in Scotland guide on

  • Set up events

    Look out for related events to share or get involved with, such as local film or literary festivals.  Maybe you can create your own?

  • Work together

    Can you collaborate with local businesses to package up a related / themed tourism experience linked to film or book locations in the area?

  • Do some networking

    Join your local industry private Facebook group to share ideas, ask for suggestions or collaborators on the related topic.

    Find more information about our Facebook groups.

  • Get involved online

    Take advantage of other occasions, like:

    • Book Week Scotland
    • World Outlander Day
    • St Andrews Day

    Or you could research some film and literary fan sites. Don't forget to use the correct hashtags when posting about any related opportunities online.

5. Additional TV and film research resources

Jenni Steele

Film & Creative Industries Manager

Related links