From Africa to North America, the National Wallace Monument has global appeal – that’s the finding of the Monument’s visitor book which showed that visitors, from all four corners of the globe, flocked to the popular tourist attraction.
The sample of just under 3,000 tourists revealed that 80 different countries were represented – including Barbados, Qatar and Taiwan.
The iconic attraction, which this year alone has already attracted in excess of 90,000 visitors, demonstrates the international appeal of not just Scotland but of the Monument – built to commemorate the warrior who famously led his men to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and whose life was depicted in the blockbuster film Braveheart which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Ken Thomson, Stirling District Tourism Marketing Manager, explained: “Even after 20 years the number of visitors who credit the 1995 Academy Award winning film as their reason to visit the monument is astounding. In a recent survey Braveheart was identified by over 20% of participants as having influenced their decision to visit Stirling and its attractions.”
The Monument is delighted to have such a wide audience who are interested in William Wallace and Scottish history. The figures are in line with other parts of Scotland and their visitor attractions.
Research conducted by Visit Scotland found that Stirling and the surrounding areas was the fifth most visited region of Scotland for overseas visitors in 2014 – after the Lothians, Greater Glasgow, Highlands & Islands and Grampian.
Liz Buchanan, Visit Scotland’s Regional Director for Stirling, said: “The National Wallace Monument is one of Scotland’s most instantly recognisable landmarks and, over the past 20 years, it has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity as a site of pilgrimage for fans of Braveheart. Undoubtedly a jewel in our tourism crown, it is no surprise that this icon continues to attract visitors from every corner of the globe.”
In August 2015 the National Wallace Monument launched their new website aiming to meets the expectations of Monument’s global visitors and in the first three months following its launch the new website has been viewed by over 30 thousand users in a total of 122 different countries.
Ken Thomson, described how the influx in international visitors affected how they designed the new website: “Since our website was last launched in 2009 there has been a great deal of technological advancements and we wanted to make sure we are offering our visitors all they need online.
“The first area to address was the online ticketing service, being able to offer visitors to pre-purchase their tickets online not only improved accessibility to the Monument on busy days but also so the large number of international visitors could plan their trips and pre-purchase admission tickets.”