Yesterday’s Budget extended tax breaks to film makers who shoot in the UK, which is expected to have a direct affect on economic activity at locations featured on the big screen.
Production in the UK not only generates direct benefits to hotels and other suppliers who provide accommodation and sustenance to actors, technicians and crew, it also delivers a considerable boost to tourism.
These benefits are driving industry partnerships between filmmakers and tourism bodies that aim to maximise the impact a film’s location has on today’s holidaymakers.
“Today’s traveller seeks inspiration and unique experiences; destinations that tell a story and capture the imagination,” says Joachim Holte, chief marketing officer of travel search specialist Wego.
“Both destination marketers and filmmakers have recognised that film-induced tourism creates a mutually beneficial promotion and caters to the growing desire of travellers seeking out the more unusual destinations and experiences,” he adds.
“Film and television can often spark the urge to visit the location they were filmed in,” Holte continued. ”We saw this just recently after a survey of Australian travellers who cited New York and Europe as their dream Christmas destinations, inspired by film classics. A great example is New Zealand who have very successfully leveraged their natural treasures as the backdrop to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies,” Holte continues.
“Within the world of online culture and social connectivity that we now live in, film is becoming one of the biggest opportunities tourism bodies have. Today’s travellers see themselves as explorers; they dig deeper into destinations than they did in the past and feel emotionally linked to destinations they’ve experienced on the big screen,” Holte suggests.
Braveheart is said to have driven a 300% increase in visits to Scotland in the 12 months following the release of Mel Gibson’s epic.
The Crown Hotel in Amersham, England whose Courtyard Suite was featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral was fully booked for three years following the release of the movie. Leonardo diCaprio’s film, The Beach, was said to be responsible for a 22% increase in youth market visits to Thailand.
“Television also plays a role in boosting tourism. Take the recent phenomenon of Breaking Bad, which brought an influx of visitors to Albuquerque. New Mexico and spurned shuttle tours and businesses ranging from ‘Blue sweets’ to ‘Blue Bath Salts’,” Holte reveals.