WTM 17: ‘Seen on TV’ destinations turn into holiday hotspots

Locations seen on TV or in film have prompted one in ten holidaymakers to book to visit the destination

Ten per cent had chosen their destination based on a favourite TV show, reflecting the wider trend for ‘set-jetting’ that sees film and television locations become holiday hotspots, according to the World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report issued today.

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.

With about 53 million UK breaks taken each year, the study suggests that more than five million people could be heading for destinations they have enjoyed watching on TV.

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

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

Within the UK, many 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 andAll Creatures Great and Small.

A WTM spokesman 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.”

Travel Weekly coverage of World Travel Market

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