MEDIA TOURISM IN SCOTLAND

United Kingdom

The Aberdeen case studies all involve particular media genres since our approach is to look at media tourism.  The various genres include historical fantasy, detective drama, action and superhero media and over the past 30 years of which have prominently feature in Scotland.

Case Study 1: Fantasy Historical Tourism: Outlander.

Outlander is a historical drama and fantasy series primarily set in the 18th century Scottish Highlands. Outlander began as a series of on-going multi-genre books by Diana Gabaldon (1992-) which was later turned into a highly popular TV series by Sony Productions in 2014. Outlander is watched in over 87 territories and has resulted in a strong fan following (especially the USA) which has resulted in a boost for tourist visits to Scotland.  The filming locations include Doune Castle in Perthshire, Hopetoun House in South Queensferry and Glasgow Cathedral in Glasgow. However, Outlander related sites have also felt an uptick in tourism numbers despite not being used as filming locations. These sites include Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre, Wardlaw Mausoleum in Inverness, and the Clava Cairns in Inverness. These are all relatively remote places that have benefited from an influx of tourists.

Case Study 2: Detective Series Tourism: Rebus

Rebus is a detective featuring in the 20 books by Ian Rankin set in Edinburgh and beginning in 1987.  It was turned into a TV series in 2000 running through four seasons until 2007.  Rebus tours have been offered in Edinburgh since 2000. Edinburgh is an example of a site which is heavily visited by tourists, creating some tension with residents.

Case Study 3: Action Movie Tourism: James Bond

Four 007 films feature Scottish locations, most recently Skyfall.  The locations are: Glen Coe, Loch Craignish, Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Etive (where Ian Fleming’s family owned a lodge) and Duart Castle.  These are all remote locations.

Case Study 4: Superhero Tourism:  The Avengers (MCU)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films first appeared in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. Since the release of the first shared universe superhero film, there have been 21 subsequent films based on characters from Marvel comics. From 2011 to 2019 three of these MCU films have filmed in Scotland including Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) in Culross, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) in Edinburgh and Avengers: Endgame (2019) in the fishing village of St. Abbs. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe being the highest- grossing film franchise of all time, along with Avengers: Endgame (2019) being the highest-grossing film of all time, this case study covers both longstanding tourism destinations (i.e. Edinburgh) with lesser-known locations (i.e. St. Abbs).

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation under grant agreement no. 870644