Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Film locations boost UK tourism

Article from the BBC website :

British tourism has enjoyed a huge boost from a rise in visits to film and TV show locations, says a report.
Film and tourism bodies identified increased visits to the settings of productions including The Da Vinci Code and Gosford Park and TV's Balamory.

The Harry Potter films led to a 120% rise in visitors to Northumberland's Alnwick Castle, and had brought about £9m worth of tourism to the region.

The report said the effect lasted years for cult films such as Trainspotting.

Television programmes, such as Balamory and Monarch of the Glen, also gave a boost to tourism in the areas where they were shot.

Lyme Park in Cheshire, the setting for Mr Darcy's wet shirt scene in the TV series of Pride and Prejudice, saw visitor numbers almost triple from 32,852 in 1994 to 91,437 in 1995.

In 2003, the village of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull - the setting for children's programme Balamory - was host to 160,000 more visitors than the year before.

The permanent population of the town is about 1,000.

According to VisitScotland, the series contributed an estimated £5m a year to the tourist economy of Mull and the Western Islands.

The Harry Potter series is thought to have brought about £9m in tourist revenue to Northumberland.

The strongest pull on tourists is from locations set at stately homes, historic and religious sites, and rural or village landscapes.

John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said: "British films and television programmes play a powerful role in showcasing the UK to the rest of the world and boosting tourism.

"There are countless examples of visitors flocking to locations they've seen in films or on TV and the effect can last for years."

Margaret Hodge, minister for film and tourism, said: "We have beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring buildings across the length and breadth of Britain.

"Our thriving film and television industries provide a platform to show the rest of the world just how much we have to offer.

"It is a terrific benefit that, not only are our films successful, but their locations are becoming destinations in their own right as people seek to relive their favourite movie moments."

The report entitled Stately Attraction - How Film and Television Programmes Promote Tourism in the UK, was commissioned by the UK Film Council, Scottish Screen, EM Media, East Midlands Tourism, Screen East, South West Screen, Film London and Visit London.

Read the article - click here