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Och aye: Brexit vote and film and TV locations lure more Brits to take Scottish staycations

Francesca Washtell
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Iconic Scottish Landmarks: Loch Ness
Some Scottish airports posted a double-digit surge in domestic flight landings (Source: Getty)

The Brexit vote and film set locations drove more Britons to take staycations in Scotland this summer, according to data from online travel agent Tripsta.

Between 1 June and 31 August several of Scotland's airports reported a surge in the number of passengers who booked domestic flights through Tripsta to explore the country's cities and islands.

Domestic flights arriving in Kirwall, Orkney, were up 21 per cent compared to the same period of last year, while flights to Aberdeen and Scatsca in Shetland rose by 16 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

Read more: Greater devolution could boost English tourism and encourage staycations

The Brexit vote and the devaluation of sterling (which is showing little sign of letting up) were a key possible driver of the switch to staycationing, Tripsta said.

European flight bookings from the UK fell 30 per cent from 24 June to 15 September, the travel agent said.

Scotland's use in a number of TV series and films in the last year could also be luring more travellers to visit.

The country has been used as a filming location for TV shows such as Outlander, the BBC's Highlands programme with Ewan McGregor and Shetland.

Read more: Best British staycations

Islay island, which experienced a five per cent uplift in summer flights, was also a filming location for the recent BFG film starring Mark Rylance.

Philipp Brinkmann, chief executive of Tripsta, said:

An increase in Scottish staycations over the summer is in line with a decrease in European travel from the UK, which we noticed immediately after the Brexit vote. We experienced a significant tumble in European travel bookings from the UK – down 90 per cent on the 24 of June and 69 per cent in the two weeks that followed.

It is now clear that this trend continued into the summer period with UK holiday-makers responding to a more expensive exchange rate through their choice of holiday destination – and some clearly chose to holiday in the UK. It seems the Brexit vote presents a real opportunity for growth within the UK’s tourism industry.

Read more: This seaside resort benefited the most from the summer staycation boom

Barclays has already noted staycation spending has been on the up this year as a weaker pound has made European travel less attractive, while the domestic tourism industry was quickly touted as one of the first to benefit in the wake of the June Brexit vote.

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