Set-jetting Tourism - International - April 2012
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In the 21st century, film (films and TV series) has taken over from literature as the most influential form of popular media motivating many leisure activities. Film possesses the power to create strong emotional connections to places seen on screen. It also presents activities that visitors seek to imitate or experience.
Anecdotal evidence (and some studies) show that exposure of a place on film or television can inspire interest in visiting the location. The decade since Mintel’s first report on film tourism has seen set-jetting become the norm for contemporary cultural travellers. Films have become ‘virtual brochures’ and the silver (or small) screen the inspiration for the next escape. Although still little understood, analysed or measured, set-jetting is a growing form of tourism – and a highly specialised niche in the global tourism market.
Attracting tourists through a film or TV series is a way for places to benefit from high-profile productions years after the film crews have left. New film releases every week and a 100-year-plus film history to draw from offers scope to market set-jetting holidays worldwide, from Antarctica to Rwanda. However, many tourism organisations are still slow to reap potential benefits.
Often based on a best-selling book, the right film can breathe new life and meaning into places, draw visitors to lesser-known areas, provide original themes – or a new and exciting twist on an old one, encourage seasonal/regional spread of tourism or lure a new or hard-to-reach international market or demographic.
This third report on set-jetting tourism features a wide spectrum of case studies to illustrate aspects of the sector. These range from Tourism Australia (TA) who leveraged the film Australia to brand the country at a tough time for tourism, to California’s innovative use of its film legacy to target hard-to-reach segments of the UK market in the wake of The Twilight Saga. It includes a look at VisitBritain’s most recent campaign around the iconic international hero Robin Hood, to how Britain’s heritage tourism has benefited through runaway TV hit Downton Abbey. Portraits of cities range from Woody Allen’s Paris and Barcelona to the effect of the Millennium films on Stockholm’s tourism and the CGI production The Adventures of Tintin on Brussels.
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