For any country, there is no better tourism boost than to be featured in a major TV show or series. I remember standing on a mountain top just outside Glasgow several years ago when a coach appeared full of tourists who wanted to see the location of a scene in the film Highlander. It was rather bizarre seeing this empty mountain top suddenly full of tourists taking pictures of a hill.
But this is the power of TV and one that is about to give a boost for Scotlands tourist industry. The show in question is the incredibly popular Downton Abbey created by ITV – one of it’s most popular TV dramas ever. Incidentially if you’ve missed some episodes you can still watch them online – outside the UK you’ll need some help to access the ITV online player. This site shows you how to access UK TV Online including all the stations like BBC, ITV and Channel 4 etc with very little difficulty. If you need some help – here’s a little more information http://www.uktv-online.com/
The location concerned is the beautiful Inveraray Castle in which the Christmas special took place. For a short period during shooting the local economy got a huge boost. The crew and cast booked out all the local hotels and B&Bs, during a traditionally quiet time. The castle is home to the Duke of Argyll who is well known for his efforts in trying to encourage tourists to the Scotland and the local area. Obviously supporting the local economy gives a boost to everyone.
Opportunities like the Downton Christmas special are very valuable when you have a castle and 60,000 acres to try and make profitable. The competition for such filmings and the obvious boost to tourism they produce are very worthwhile. Inveraray Castle was opened to the public in 1953 and was one of the first major stately homes in Scotland to do so. However in 1975 they suffered a huge fire which caused lots of damages – a worldwide appeal raised money to restore the house to it’s former glory.
Now the castle welcomes about 100,000 visitors a year and it is hoped that the Downton special will boost that number.