A NEW romantic comedy starring Billy Connolly and David Tennant is to be used by the nation's tourism agency to promote Scotland as a family holiday location.

VisitScotland are working with film company Lionsgate to promote Scottish scenery with the release of movie What We Did On Our Holiday.

Filmed in locations including Gairloch and Loch Katrine, Callander, the film is released on UK cinema screens on September 26.

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It has been written and directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the duo behind BBC comedy Outnumbered, and it sees Doug, played by Tennant, travel to the Highlands with his wife Abi, played by Rosamund Pike and their three children to attend the birthday party of Doug's father, Gordie, portrayed by Connolly.

The new partnership between VisitScotland and Lionsgate UK will involve joint marketing and PR activity designed to showcase Scotland "to the family market".

VisitScotland are also using the success of US TV show Outlander - which has yet to be broadcast in the UK but was shot in Scotland, including also the castle in Doune - to promote tourism to the country.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The production crew of What We Did On Our Holiday have done an amazing job of capturing the unique peace, tranquility and breathtaking landscapes of Scotland.

"Our partnership with Lionsgate UK gives us an excellent platform to make the most of this excellent opportunity.

"Scotland never fails to look stunning on the big screen, and I'm sure this feel-good film will encourage more cinema goers to come and explore this wonderful country for themselves."

Ross Cunningham, head of marketing at Lionsgate UK, said: "The film is a truly fantastic, comedic heart-warmer, and really shows Scotland at its stunning best, with beautifully lavish landscapes."

VisitScotland research has shown that a fifth of visitors to Scotland are inspired to visit after seeing the country on film or on television.

The national tourism agency is also to launch a summer promotions drive in two Commonwealth countries, Australia and New Zealand, with a two-week trade mission to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland and Christchurch.

The visit comes on the back of global interest in Scotland after the success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Australia will host the Games in 2018.