According to a survey conducted by France’s National Center for Cinema and Animated Image, which had a total of 500 foreign respondents, 80 per cent of them confessed that their interest in visiting France was ignited by watching TV shows or movies filmed in the country, up by 74 per cent compared to 2018 levels, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The majority of respondents were American, Chinese, British, Spanish, German and Belgian nationalities who had planned to stay in the country for up to one week. As per their spending habits, respondents said they were spending more than €1,700 on average on their trips.
‘Emily in Paris’ & ‘Lupin’ Prompted High Tourism Rates in France
The survey reveals that one in ten tourists travelled to France after watching a movie or TV series. Lupin, a thrilling mystery TV show, was the main reason for the majority of respondents – 50 per cent compared to 44 per cent that were moved by the rom-com Emily in Paris.
About 56 per cent of Lupin’s super fans were men, while over 61 per cent of Emily in Paris’ super fans were women, and 59 per cent were relatively young – between the ages of 18 and 34.
TV Tourism – Robust Driver of Tourism to Destinations
Popular TV shows have not only boosted tourism in France but have also had a significant impact on other destinations. Sicily, for example, saw a surge in tourism after serving as the filming location for the second season of White Lotus.
In Iceland, Kensington Tours is considering adding Game of Thrones detours in response to client interest. Kelly Torrens, the vice president of product, mentioned the possibility of creating detours with names inspired by Game of Thrones and other movies starting in May.
To expand tourist traffic beyond London, VisitBritain is set to launch a marketing campaign that focuses on filming locations of various movies and TV shows, according to CEO Patricia Yates at the Skift Global Forum in September.
We’ve used Harry Potter and the James Bond experience, so we’ve got good links with studios in the past, but we’re really ramping that up and telling the story of Britain through film and TV. We still have such a rich bed of stories to come.
Research by Visit Britain indicates that approximately one-third of potential tourists are interested in visiting locations they have seen on screen.
However, increasing interest in visiting these popular destinations for cinematographic enthusiasts is not always positive.
Local authorities in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe of Basque Country, known as Dragonstone to Game of Thrones fans, had to introduce an online ticketing system to control the number of visitors and ban tourists from ringing the church’s bell. The famous destination of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe for Game of Thrones fans also saw its fauna impacted by overtourism.
In 2019, almost 730,000 people visited Gaztelugatxe – around 140,000 more people than in 2018, scoring a 25 per cent increase in one year alone. On August 15, 2019, 6,434 people visited the zone in one day alone.