Da Vinci Code success for Scotland

As the Da Vinci Code DVD hits the shops today, national tourism agency VisitScotland
has revealed that Scotland has already received over £6 million of publicity around
the world as result of its unique partnership with Sony Pictures. In a world first, VisitScotland joined forces earlier this year with movie giant
Sony Pictures, VisitBritain and the French tourist board, Maison de la France to
promote the locations in the movie to 40 countries around the world.

The promotion
included a joint website, competitions, press and TV advertising in both established
tourism markets like USA and Germany, but also emerging markets such as China, India
and Russia. Early indications are that the Da Vinci Code has been a strong
influencer for visitors to Scotland. VisitScotland is currently conducting research
into how many people were motivated to travel due to the film in key international

Around half a million people have visited the joint website,
www.visitdavincicode.com   in just five months
from May to September. VisitScotland used the website to promote Rosslyn Chapel in
Midlothian, which featured in the movie, but also other locations in Scotland.


In addition, to tap into the interest in the Da Vinci Code, VisitScotland has hosted
over 150 journalists from 18 countries on press trips to Scotland. Their articles
about Scotland have reached an estimated 100 million people around the world.



VisitScotland also used the Da Vinci Code as a central theme in their £1.3 million
European Touring Campaign earlier this year. The campaign, which encouraged visitors
to travel around Scotland to different locations, targeted potential visitors in
Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.


Touring packs, which included three Da Vinci Code inspired itineraries: mystery and
legends, Scotland’s literature and Scotland in Film and TV, were requested by
161,000 consumers - exceeding VisitScotland’s target of 100,000.


Ben Carter, VisitScotland’s Area Director for Edinburgh and the Lothians said: “The
Da Vinci Code was a massive opportunity for the tourism industry in the Lothians,
Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. By working in partnership with a major
international player like Sony Pictures, we have benefited from world wide exposure
for Scotland that we could not have achieved alone. Tourism businesses have also
taken the initiative themselves and reaped the benefits of tapping into the global
interest in the movie. With the DVD coming out today, interest in the Da Vinci Code
will continue, bringing benefits to Scotland for a long time to come.”


Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian featured in the Da Vinci Code novel and movie. The
Chapel’s Director Stuart Beattie said: “We have seen visitor numbers increase from
38,000 before the book and the film came out to 160,000 this year. The Da Vinci Code
raised awareness of Rosslyn, which was already on the ascendancy as a destination
that many find attractive for a raft of different reasons.”


Debbie Taylor, General Manager for The Balmoral, one of Edinburgh’s premier hotels
said: “Since the launch of the Da Vinci Code the number of our guests visiting
Rosslyn Chapel has risen by around 50 per cent. As a result we introduced The
Balmoral’s overnight Da Vinci Code Experience, which includes a champagne picnic in
the picturesque grounds. The package has proved very popular with our guests who
enjoy the special touches we provide, such as the private transfer. The number of
individual tours we are organising for guests has also soared. During the summer we
were sending on average 10 groups a week. The film has certainly proven to be
beneficial to The Balmoral and the city as a whole.”