Outlander is encouraging more people to live and work in the Highlands thanks to a huge boost in interest created by the hit sci-fi series, a recruitment internet firm claims.
The Outlander tours season is just starting . Discounts of 10% are available for tours booked this month.
HIJOBS says the time-travelling Jacobean epic – which has made household names of actors Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser – has had major implications for the job market in the area.
Legacy of the Jacobites online course launched by Edinburgh University and National Museums of Scotland
Arguably one of the biggest stars of the series and the biggest scene-stealer has been Scotland itself with its stunning landscapes and historic buildings, towns and villages.
Outlander has boosted the economy, visitor numbers and now jobs
HIJOBS’ Laura Saunders says: “Things are looking good at the start of the 2018 tourist season. As Visit Scotland has said, the ‘Outlander effect’ continues to benefit many places featured in the cult TV series, as well as others with Jacobite connections.
“The Glenfinnan Monument, just 16 miles from our Fort William office, saw a staggering 58 per cent increase in visitors last year; Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre is up by 28 per cent, year-on-year; Castle Fraser by nearly half, and Glasgow Cathedral by a third.”
The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions announced that visits to its member sites rose dramatically in 2017 for the fourth year running.
Meanwhile the film company is currently working on the next Outlander series.
At its base – a former Cumbernauld factory – a field nearby was turned into the Culloden battlefield.
Falkland and Culross were also amongst communities experiencing the Outlander magic for themselves.
Venues used have included Blackness Castle, doubling as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall, which has seen visitors rise year-on-year by 44 per cent.
Doune Castle , doubling as Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan, saw numbers up 42 per cent.
The latest available figures show that spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity for the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP, representing about five per cent of total Scottish GDP.
The tourism industry in Scotland supports more than 217,000 jobs accounting for around 8.5 per cent of employment in the country.
Laura added: “We have the two-year Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund due to start in the coming financial year. This is all good news for the Highland economy and job market.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said when announcing the project: “The tourist boom that our country is enjoying is great news.
“It means more jobs and investment but it can also mean pressure on transport, services and facilities – especially in rural areas. The Scottish Government is determined to help.”
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Fiona Hyslop Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs added: “Last year was another hugely successful year for our world-class visitor attractions. Tourism is of vital importance to communities throughout Scotland, stimulating economic growth.”