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VisitScotland collaborates with National Geographic CreativeWorks, part of The Walt Disney Company, on set-jetting campaign

The Leaderfoot Viaduct, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. (Photo: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam).

A new screen tourism marketing campaign from VisitScotland focused on Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm productions.

Hit films and series such as Disney/Pixar’s BraveStar Wars spin-off AndorIndiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame are being used to showcase Scotland as part of a new storytelling and media collaboration between VisitScotland and National Geographic CreativeWorks.

Using bespoke photography by National Geographic CreativeWorks, part of The Walt Disney Company, the marketing campaign highlights many Scottish locations that have provided inspiration for the much-loved movie and TV classics from Disney/Pixar, Star Wars, Lucasfilm and Marvel.

Produced for national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, online articles and images will be published on National Geographic’s digital platform and promoted through their social media channels from January until March 2024.

To complement the activity, a 30-second advert spotlighting Scottish locations that have inspired Disney stories will be shown on Disney+ in the U.S. over the same period.

VisitScotland hopes the campaign – targeting US and UK visitor markets – will tap into the large Disney, Star Wars and Marvel fanbases as well as the global travel trend, set-jetting (aka screen tourism).

Screen tourism – which has been most notable in Scotland in recent years by the Outlander Effect – is set to continue this year, highlighted by travel experts, Expedia and Skyscanner.

The trend involves viewers inspired to visit a location after seeing it on screen, whether it be visiting the exact filming location or providing the general motivation to book a holiday to the destination.

VisitScotland research shows that up to 18% of visitors from Scotland’s top international markets (USA, France and Germany) visit a film or TV location while on holiday in Scotland. Last year, visitor figures to Scotland from the US market reached pre-pandemic levels.

According to Expedia, more than half of travellers say that TV shows and movies inspire their travel plans, and nearly 30% say they are more influential than ever before – with TV shows providing a bigger draw for destinations than Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

The campaign follows Disney marking its 100th anniversary, in which it released research that revealed UK fans would like to see Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle in future Disney films.

Locations featured in the VisitScotland campaign:

  • Glasgow – which was transformed into 1960s New York City for a parade-crashing scene in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
  • St Abbs in the Scottish Borders – which was turned into New Asgard, the home of Thor, for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame (2019), and in real life twinned itself with the mythical land after filming wrapped.
  • The Leaderfoot Viaduct, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders – which forms part of a train chase in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
  • Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire and the Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis – which provided inspiration for the animators of Disney/Pixar film, Brave (2012).
  • Glen Tilt in Perthshire and Cruachan Dam in Argyll – which provided the backdrop for a rebel-led heist in the Disney+ Star Wars series, Andor (2022).
  • Culross in Fife – which stood in for Norway as part of the World War II-set Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
  • Edinburgh – which saw the Avengers battle it out against villain Thanos’s followers in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and the home of Greyfriars Bobby which inspired the 1961 Disney film of the same name.

Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s landscapes have provided the dramatic backdrop for some of the world’s biggest film and TV franchises. For a long time, set-jetters have chosen to plan their journey to Scotland – the real star – after seeing it on-screen. 

“Working with National Geographic CreativeWorks and Disney+ not only gives us the opportunity to shout about film locations in the context of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Brave and the Avengers, but also to tap into the huge UK and US audiences across their channels. This allows us to inspire and influence potential visitors to include Scotland in their future travel plans.

“Those locations are only the starting point for us, to encourage would-be visitors to explore beyond what appears on-screen and uncover the drama found in our landscapes, history and heritage across all our regions throughout the year.”

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.