It’s like how the number of tourists drinking beers and making out under a 400 highway bridge in cow country Ontario spiked after I published my second book of poems. But seriously, there are plenty of stories like this around TV (think of all the folks touring Game of Thrones locations and basically ruining them), but this is about Scotland getting Outlander tourists. My mother-in-law keeps trying to get me to read/watch The Outlander, citing time travel and lots of juicy sex. I hold that citing juicy sex is not the best way to entice your son-in-law into reading something. Or refraining from gouging his own eyes out in horror.
Best-selling author Diana Gabaldon hadn’t even set foot in Scotland when she began the book that launched the popular Outlander series. But she’s made the country so attractive to readers — and to watchers of the Starz television program, which resumes with Season 5 on Sunday — that the Scottish government’s tourism agency gave her an honorary Thistle Award for generating a flood of visitors to the fens, glens, jagged mountains and soft jade landscapes she so alluringly describes. According to numbers from VisitScotland, Outlander has increased tourism by an average of 67 percent at the sites mentioned in the books or used in filming.