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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Tourism gets Da Vinci movie boost
Da Vinci Code billboard
The Da Vinci Code is set for its big screen release
Scotland has enjoyed 6m worth of global publicity thanks to a deal with the hit film The Da Vinci Code, tourism chiefs have announced.

The blockbuster, based on Dan Brown's multi-million selling novel about the existence of a bloodline of Jesus, featured Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian.

Maker Sony Pictures has grossed more than 400m in box office receipts since its release in May.

Rosslyn Chapel has seen visits rocket five-fold to about 160,000 this year.

Chapel director Stuart Beattie said: "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."

World-wide exposure

The film saw two of its stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou search Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh for clues to the bloodline's existence.

Other high profile locations included the Louvre art gallery and museum in Paris and Westminster Abbey in London.

Scotland's tourism agency VisitScotland joined forces with Sony Pictures in what was billed as a unique deal to promote the locations used in 40 countries across the world.

Now Scots tourism chiefs estimate they have received more than 6m of publicity around the world as a result, along with another persuasive reason for people from overseas to visit the country.

The Da Vinci Code was a massive opportunity for the tourism industry in the Lothians, Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland
Ben Carter
VisitScotland director for Edinburgh and Lothians

Promotional material included a joint website called visitdavincicode.com, competitions, press and TV advertising in both established tourism markets like USA and Germany and emerging markets such as China, India and Russia.

About 500,000 people have already visited the website since May, while a 100 million people have read articles written by overseas journalists who visited Scotland during the film's build-up.

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."

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