Scotland business

Murray wedding prompts tourist drive by VisitScotland

murray and kim sears Image copyright AP
Image caption Andy Murray and Kim Sears are due to get married in Dunblane on Saturday

VisitScotland has launched a drive to promote Scotland as the place to get married.

It comes as tennis star Andy Murray prepares to tie the knot with Kim Sears in Dunblane.

The tourism promotion agency said nearly a quarter of weddings held north of the border were between people from outside Scotland.

It said breathtaking scenery, celebrity weddings and welcoming hospitality were the biggest draws for couples.

Among those who have married in Scotland are Madonna and Guy Ritchie (Skibo Castle), Mark Owen (Cawdor Parish Church), Philip Schofield (Ackergill Tower, Caithness) and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh).

VisitScotland has estimated that the wedding tourism industry is worth £80m to the Scottish economy.

'Uniqueness and magic'

The agency said market research suggested "tourist weddings" tended to have fewer guests, but people stayed longer at the locations.

It added that Dumfries and Galloway was the most popular area for marriages because of "the popularity and romantic significance" of Gretna Green. In second place was Argyll and Bute.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: "Put simply, Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world in which to get married.

"From the splendour and magnificence of our castles and historic homes, to the wild romantic nature of our lochs, mountains, islands and coastlines, there is a uniqueness and magic to having your big day on Scottish soil.

"The impact the wedding industry has on tourism itself is significant, but more than that, it gives us an opportunity to showcase Scotland to guests who may never have made the trip before and turn their time here into a holiday."

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