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Lights, camera, action – TV shows inspire millions to book a break

Lights, camera, action – TV shows inspire millions to book a break

One in 10 holidaymakers have booked a holiday to visit locations “seen on screen”, reveals research by World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry, released Monday 6 November at the event.

The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report found that 10% had chosen their destination based on a favourite TV show, reflecting the wider trend for ‘set-jetting’ which sees film and television locations become holiday hotspots.

Shows mentioned by respondents include Inspector Montalbano – an Italian crime drama set in Sicily – and A Place in the Sun, which offers advice about buying homes abroad.

With Brits booking more than 45 million overseas holiday trips each year, this could mean that 4.5 million foreign holidays annually are taken in locations inspired by TV shows.

There is plenty of potential in the UK domestic market too – about 53 million staycations are taken each year, suggesting that more than five million could be heading for destinations they have enjoyed watching on TV.

Tourist boards and tour operators are taking advantage of the “screen tourism” trend, and developing marketing campaigns and itineraries to promote the locations to fans.

One of the most popular TV shows is Game of Thrones, which has been filmed in locations as far apart as Iceland, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Spain, Morocco and Malta.

The Croatian National Tourist Office will be at WTM London to highlight its popularity among ‘Throners’ who are keen to see cities such as Dubrovnik and Split, which have been backdrops for the drama in Game of Thrones.

Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones® Territory and runs worldwide marketing campaigns to woo visitors to its shores.

Within the UK, many tour operators run trips to see famous filming locations – such as Highclere Castle, aka Downton Abbey; the Jurassic Coast seen in Broadchurch; and Castle Howard, the setting of Brideshead Revisited.

The Isle of Wight, a favourite of Queen Victoria, has developed a tourist trail and marketing campaign to capitalise on the Victoria drama on ITV and Victoria & Abdul film.

In Cornwall, holidaymakers can see sites associated with Wycliffe, Poldark and Doc Martin, while in Yorkshire they can visit locations seen on Heartbeat, Emmerdale and All Creatures Great and Small.

World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson, said: “Films and TV shows are very strong influences on travellers’ choices and represent fantastic opportunities for tourism boards and tour operators to market the locations to a wide audience.

“The tourism industry is developing innovative visitor experiences based on popular programmes and giving consumers more compelling reasons to book a holiday to explore these destinations.”

For the WTM London consumer research, there were 1,025 respondents, who were representative of the UK population, and who had taken at least one holiday this year.

eTN is a media partner for WTM.

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