NEARLY one-third of people who visited Shetland last year were influenced by TV shows like the BBC crime drama set in the isles.

A new survey commissioned by Shetland Islands Council and VisitScotland showed 28% of visitors were inspired to head north after seeing the remote islands on TV.

More than 4.5 million people in the UK tuned into the last episode of the fourth series of Shetland earlier this year as they watched characters DI Jimmy Perez, played by Douglas Henshall, and Alison “Tosh” Mcintosh, played by Alison O’Donnell.

Tourists often venture to landmarks shown on the TV series, such as Perez’s waterfront house at the Lodberries at Lerwick, while many head north to catch a glimpse of the stunning landscapes showcased on the series.

Local actor Steven Robertson, who plays the part of police officer Sandy Wilson, previously said the series – which is shown across the globe – is a great boost to Shetland’s tourism.

Shetland, which lies 600 miles north of London and is closer to Norway than Edinburgh, is known for its wildlife and rugged landscapes.

“You get an hour a week for six weeks ... every time the camera swings across a beach or looks out over a cliff, that is Shetland,” Robertson said earlier this year.

“That is the scenery and, in my opinion, it can only be a good advert for Shetland.”

The visitor survey showed there were73,262 visits to the Shetland in 2017, which were worth about £23.2 million.

VisitScotland islands manager Steve Mathieson said the survey findings “clearly demonstrate the vitally important role that tourism plays within the Shetland economy”.