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Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 16:36 GMT
Potter magic to boost tourism
Harry Potter
The next Potter film may also feature Scottish locations
Visitor numbers to the Scottish Highlands are expected to increase following the release of the latest Harry Potter film, tourism bosses said.

In the biggest boost to tourism north of the border since Rob Roy and Braveheart, visitors are expected to flock to the historic Glenfinnan viaduct near Fort William.

The beauty spot is featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second film based on JK Rowling's best selling novels about the teenage wizard.

There is speculation that locations in Scotland could also be used for the third film in the blockbuster series.

Glenfinnan Monument from National Trust for Scotland website
More visitors are already going to Glenfinnan
A spokesman for Glenfinnan Estates, where the latest filming took place, confirmed that they are hoping to co-ordinate local attempts to benefit from the world-wide exposure brought by the films.

Informal talks involving the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the viaduct, the Glenfinnan Museum, and other interested parties are expected to take place this week.

Glenfinnan Estate manager Alistair Gibson confirmed there had been an increased number of visitors to the area even before the film was released.

He said: "My own view is that we need to harness this interest.

"We have people here who might have grandchildren down in England who, when they come up to visit, will want to come and see the viaduct.

"Now that it has hit the screens there will be a lot of 12-year-olds keen to come and see it."


We have always considered Scotland to be the spiritual home of Harry Potter

Celia Stevenson, Scottish Screen

Mr Gibson also revealed that Warner Brothers has shown some interest in using Glenfinnan as a location again.

He said: "They have been back in touch but there is nothing signed or sealed at the moment.

"They are scouting around for locations and it is our responsibility to encourage them to film as much in Scotland as possible because we need to encourage people to come here."

'Spiritual home'

Scottish Screen spokeswoman Celia Stevenson said that although the organisation had not been contacted by the film's producers, they would be delighted to see them return to Scotland.

She said: "We have always considered Scotland to be the spiritual home of Harry Potter anyway."

Ms Stevenson said any future filming could bring benefits both to the tourism industry and to the local economy of the locations.

She said: "In the first six months after Braveheart opened there was a 130% increase in visitors to the Wallace monument.

"You also have the trickle-down effect on the economy.

"Everything benefits from petrol stations selling more petrol to pubs selling more beers when you have a film unit in the area, then there is the increase in tourism."

See also:

03 Nov 02 | Entertainment
03 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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