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VisitScotland: Outlander could serve as Scotland's answer to Game of Thrones

A major new television series set in Scotland could serve as the country's answer to Game Of Thrones, according to tourism chiefs.

VisitScotland believes the much-anticipated adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, which enjoyed a red-carpet premiere in California at the weekend, could turn Scotland into a magnet for fans of the show and the best-selling novels.

The tourism body said it will carry out various campaigns over the coming months to encourage would-be visitors to enjoy an Outlander-style adventure in Scotland, where most of the series was filmed.

They hope the new show will mirror the success of cult HBO series Game Of Thrones, which has helped further Northern Ireland's reputation as a go-to place for the film industry.

Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, played by Caitriona Balfe, a married English combat nurse from 1945 who, while on a second honeymoon in Inverness, is swept back in time to the 18th-century Scottish Highlands.

There, she meets Jamie, played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan, a young warrior, with whom she becomes romantically linked.

Filming of the 16-part series began in October in locations such as Glasgow, Perthshire, Fife, Edinburgh and West Lothian.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, it is due to be shown on the US TV network Starz next month and will hit Australian television later this year.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: "While in America, I have personally seen queues for Diana Gabaldon book-signings disappear round the block.

"The television series is potentially huge for Scotland and could well be our answer to Game Of Thrones.

"Scotland really is the star of Outlander and its focus on stunning scenery, romance, adventure and ancestry make it a fantastic advert for Scotland.

"Research has shown that around a fifth of visitors to Scotland are inspired to come here after seeing it on television or on film and, that being the case, we are hoping for big things from Outlander."

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