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Untapped Potential of Screen Tourism

Date posted: 02.01.2014

EuroScreen aims to exploit screen tourism, capitalising on the major economic and cultural opportunities it offers. Publishing a Baseline Study 'The Attraction of Screen Destinations' and case studies which showcase success stories, the findings reveal the power of screen tourism and the huge potential which is not currently being fully exploited.

One case study focuses on Ystad in Sweden which has seen a dramatic increase in non-Scandinavian tourists since the broadcast of Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. The British adaptation, which first aired on BBC One in 2008, is credited with directly contributing to an 18% rise in British tourists in 2009. While the overall international success of the books and UK and Swedish adaptations, saw the turnover in the region's tourism sector rise from 490 million SEK (approx. €56 million) in 2002 to 720 million SEK (approx. €82.9) in 2011.

"With our European partners, Film London is keen to ensure EuroScreen enables us to take better advantage of this very lucrative market" explains Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission. He continues "building data, highlighting success stories and sharing best practice will help us build a coherent screen tourism strategy and align policies between the screen and tourism industries for mutual benefit."

Made up of nine partners from eight European regions, and co-funded by INTERREG IVC, EuroScreen works to align policies between the screen and tourism industries. As lead partner of the programme, Film London indentifies popular television shows over the Christmas period that could boost tourism to the UK capital.

Over the festive period, the UK's television schedule featured a number of Christmas specials which attracted huge audiences. Two London-shot highlights were Downton Abbey and Sherlock.

The hotly anticipated third series of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman returned with 9.2 million viewers watching the first episode in the UK alone. The show indirectly promotes London including locations such as the London Film Museum, as well as the Underground and Holmes' iconic Baker Street address. The show will also screen in the US later in January, showcasing the capital to international audiences.

Downton Abbey
has already resulted in a surge in visitors to Highclere Castle, the grand estate in which it is set, making it one of the top 10 tourist sites in Manchester. Much of the show's Christmas special is set in London where the production shot on location, which promotes London locations from parks through to stations and restaurants to both its significant domestic and international fans.

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