Cry for Set Jetting to Boost the Economy

The Guardian‘s Charlotte Cameron pleads with British film-makers to get more accessible, and identifiable locations into their films to help boost tourism.

According to tourist authority VisitBritain, the UK needs to find more emotional appeal to potential visitors. VisitBritain found in a recent international tourism survey that we lag behind other countries on “emotional measures” such as being perceived as a romantic destination, or fun, or exciting.

…Films, apparently, inspire an estimated 40% of tourists in selecting their destinations.

Movies have already made a huge impact on tourist attractions in the UK. Since being featured in the Harry Potter films, Alnwick Castle has seen visitor numbers increase by 230%. According to the Film Council, 2006’s Pride & Prejudice boosted Chatsworth’s visitor numbers by 10% and Basildon Park’s by 75% – thanks to their star turns as Pemberley and Netherfield.

But beyond castles and stately homes, we need to set our cinematic moving moments in more recognisable places; this is what boosts “movie tourism”, according to a study cited by think tank Oxford Economics in its 2010 assessment of the impact of film on the UK economy.

In analysing the effect of 12 popular US films, the study found that when memorable movie moments become associated with an accessible location, there are 40-50% increases in visitor numbers – increases that endured for at least four years after the films were released.

So there you go, there’s the recipe for set jetting success, get some recognisable locations in there, and not just stately homes. It would probably be wise to caveat that, I’m not sure anyone would go to some of the council estates we’re blessed with, even if the most romantic scene in the world took place there.

It’s interesting to note that people want to go to places to re-enact or remember emotional scenes as well as because they may be a beautiful or interesting location.

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