Lights, camera, action – TV shows inspire millions to book a break

Lights, camera, action – TV shows inspire millions to book a break

One in 10 holidaymakers have booked a holiday to visit locations “seen on screen”, reveals research by World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry, released today (Monday 6 November) at the event.

The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report found that 10% had chosen their destination based on a favourite TV show, reflecting the wider trend for ‘set-jetting’ which sees film and television locations become holiday hotspots.

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.

There is plenty of potential in the UK domestic market too – about 53 million staycations are taken each year, suggesting that more than five million could be heading for destinations they have enjoyed watching on TV.

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

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

The Croatian National Tourist Office will be at WTM London to highlight its popularity among ‘Throners’ who are keen to see cities such as Dubrovnik and Split, which have been backdrops for the drama in Game of Thrones.

Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones® Territory and runs worldwide marketing campaigns to woo visitors to its shores.

Within the UK, many tour 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 and All Creatures Great and Small.

World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson, 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.”

For the WTM London consumer research, there were 1,025 respondents, who were representative of the UK population, and who had taken at least one holiday this year.


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The five events are:


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.


International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.


World Travel Market Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.


World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.


About Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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