VisitScotland has launched a campaign to promote Scotland as one of the best places in the world to get married.
The tourism drive comes as Scottish tennis star Andy Murray and his fiancé, Kim Sears, are due to be married at Dunblane Cathedral this weekend.
In 2013 alone, there were 27,547 weddings held in the country according to VisitScotland, which estimates that the wedding tourism industry is currently worth £80million to Scottish economy.
Scotland’s breathtaking scenery, numerous celebrity weddings and welcoming hospitality were reported to be the top draws for couples looking to tie the knot, which comes recently after the country was voted the friendliest nation in the UK.
Well known celebrities among those married in Scotland are Madonna and Guy Ritchie (Skibo Castle, West Dornoch), the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Philips and Mike Tindall (Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh) and TV presenter Philip Schofield and Stephanie Lowe (Ackergill Tower, Caithness).
Market research, conducted by VisitScotland, also revealed that Dumfries & Galloway was the most popular location for weddings in Scotland due to the “romantic significance” of Gretna Green, Argyll and Bute closely followed in second place.
Although tourist weddings appeared to have fewer guests than local weddings, people stayed for a longer period of time at their chosen locations according to VisitScotland’s research.
The chairman of VisitScotland, 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.”.
Mr Cantlay also commented on the impact this has for the tourism industry in Scotland. He added: “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 their trip before and turn their time here into a holiday”.
For top tips on how to make the most of Scotland’s assets for your business, check out Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Events, Festivals and Cultural Tourism guide for the best ways to unlock your business’s potential.