Film Tourism as Heritage Tourism: Scotland, Diaspora and The Da Vinci Code (2006)

David Martin-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Using the case study of The Da Vinci Code (2006), especially the extensive promotional activities surrounding the film (organised by VisitScotland, Maison de la France, and VisitBritain), this paper argues that film tourism be understood as a facet of heritage tourism. Scotland is a nation with a long history as a destination for heritage tourism, including literary and art tourism, whose brand identity in this regard functions slightly differently to that of England. Scotland has a large international diaspora, the result of its specific national history, which conceives of itself as Scottish, and returns – from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the USA – to events like Homecoming Scotland (2009) to reconnect with its roots in the manner of heritage tourism. The Da Vinci Code, like Braveheart before it and Brave since, appeals to this international audience through its depiction of Scotland. By analysing the film's construction of history, and the scenes shot in Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh (Rosslyn has previously featured in paintings and photographs, and was the star of a famous diorama in the early nineteenth century), it becomes evident that a sense of return and belonging is evoked in this Scottish setting that can resonate with heritage tourists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-177
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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