THE author of time-travelling drama Outlander will be honoured tonight at the tourism ‘Oscars’ as new research reveals the “outstanding” impact the show has had on Scottish tourism.

According to the latest research, historic locations used in the TV adaption of the series, including Glasgow Cathedral have seen a huge boost in visitor numbers, soaring from 887,000 to 1.5m since the show, starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe first aired in 2014.

Outlander depicts the adventures of English Second World War combat nurse Claire Randall, who travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets and falls in love with Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser.

Other Glasgow attractions used for filming have included St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow City Chambers and Pollok Park.

The Outlander Effect & Tourism paper, by Visit Scotland, was compiled with data from The Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Glasgow Cathedral, which stood in for a French hospital during filming, saw visitors rise from 233,172 to 389,101.

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Doune Castle near Stirling, which doubles as Castle Leoch in the show, has seen the largest surge in visitor numbers –more than tripling from 38,081 to 124,341.

Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth, features as Black Jack Randall’s headquarters, saw tourist visits increase from 15,197 the year before Outlander appeared on TV to more than 42,000 in 2017.

Diana Gabaldon will receive a special International Contribution to Scottish Tourism award from VisitScotland at the Scottish ThistleAwards.

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She said: “I’m deeply honoured, and so pleased, at being given the Thistle Award.

“To be quite honest, I chose Scotland as the setting for my first novel because of a man in a kilt, but upon looking into things more deeply, was enchanted to discover a country and a people like no other, whose traditions and history are as strikingly beautiful as its landscapes.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive ofVisitScotland, said: “The impact ofOutlander on Scotland has been truly extraordinary.

“It has been amazing to see the global reaction to Diana Gabaldon’s stories of adventure, romance and Scottish history – and the subsequent television adaptation – and seeing it translate visitor growth for Scotland.”