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Alan Cumming back to his roots

Press Release   •  Nov 28, 2015 13:01 GMT

Award-winning TV and film actor, Alan Cumming, has teamed up with VisitScotland and NBC to inspire millions of US visitors to come to Scotland.

The Good Wife and X-Men star will be featured alongside George Oliphant, host of NBC’s George to the Rescue, on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland to be broadcast as part of NBC’s 1stLook programme in early 2016.

The half-hour programme will feature areas of Scotland important to Alan, including a return to his hometown of Aberfeldy, Perthshire. VisitScotland hopes that the broadcast will inspire US visitors to follow the actor’s footsteps and plan their own adventure to Scotland.

The NBCUniversal Owned Stations’ lifestyle production company, LX.TV, will also shoot vignettes on Edinburgh, golf, food and drink and history and heritage to be broadcast alongside the programme.

Abbotsford House in the Scottish Borders - the home of Sir Walter Scott - will feature in the network’s Open House property and design programme, which also airs on NBC stations nationwide.

The programmes combined with TV spots are expected to reach around 6 million US homes.

Alan Cumming said:

“I always love coming back to Scotland and I always love it when my American friends ask me about it. So now I get to come and shoot a show where I both revel in Scotland and show it off to my friends back in the States – a double whammy!”

George Oliphant, host of NBC’s George to the Rescue, who will accompany Alan, said:

I am truly excited to share the many traditions and treasures of Scotland with our viewers. As the grandson of a Scotsman, this is an amazing opportunity for me to connect to my past, meet the wonderful Scottish people, and experience all the things that make me love Scotland!”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the rich tapestry of what Scotland has to offer visitors through the eyes of one of its famous sons. The USA is a diaspora stronghold and was last year’s biggest international market for trips to Scotland.

“A total of 418,000 trips were made by US visitors last year – a third higher than in 2013 – which brought in an incredible £436 million to the Scottish economy and helped make 2014 our biggest year for North American visitors in over a decade.

As one of our most important markets for ancestral visitors we hope these TV programmes will inspire even more visitors to follow in Alan Cumming’s footsteps and take the journey to our beautiful shores.”

Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, set in iconic Borders landscape next to the river Tweed and now a short walk to the new Tweedbank station linking it directly to Edinburgh’s Waverley station, features a state-of-the-art visitor centre, restaurant as well as the quirky Historic House and Gardens. Abbotsford reveals the remarkable story of the world-renowned Scottish writer, from his birth in Edinburgh in 1771 to the cultural legacy he left to Scotland and the world.

Giles Ingram, Chief Executive of Abbotsford, said:

“We are excited to have this huge opportunity to feature Sir Walter Scott’s legacy to Scotland in such high profile media as the NBC local stations.

“Abbotsford is a leading destination in Scotland and attracts tourists from all over the globe. Americans currently represent 4% of our visitor numbers and we hope that this coverage will inspire more to come and discover the literary hero, Sir Walter Scott.”

- ENDS -

 

Notes to Editors

  • The Abbotsford Trust
  • The Abbotsford Trust was formed in 2007 following the death of Dame Jean Maxwell Scott, the last descendant of Sir Walter Scott to live in the house. The Trust’s Patron is the Duke of Buccleuch and it also has one of Scott’s descendants among its members. The Abbotsford Trust aims to preserve, protect and improve Abbotsford and its surroundings for the benefit and enjoyment of the public and also aims to enhance knowledge and understanding about the life and works of Sir Walter Scott.
  • Major funders in the campaign to save Abbotsford include the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Scottish Government and Historic Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Enterprise, as well as a number of private individuals and charitable trusts. Fundraising for the project remains ongoing, with an additional £2.5 million still required to create an endowment to secure the attraction’s future running costs. Donations made are being matched pound for pound by the Heritage Lottery Fund under its Catalyst Endowment Programme.

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
    • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland