Last Updated on March 19, 2015 by Mark Lavington
When the romantic and swashbuckling television costume drama Poldark returned to our screens not many of the millions of viewers would have been thinking about a 65% spike in visits to the local tourism website, the largest since Cornish sailor Ben Ainsley made his way through the Duchy clasping the Olympic torch a little over three years ago.
It does however add to an ever-growing trend; more and more of us are now visiting the historic sites, stately properties and locations we see on our television screens each and every week.
With many venues now open to the public, filming locations have become a firm favorite with visitors and a driver of tourism; are you taking advantage of these opportunities for Film and TV tourism boosting bookings for holiday lets?
Where is Film and TV tourism boosting bookings for holiday lets on location?
Don’t know where your favorite programmes are filmed?
We take a look at some of the most popular around the country:
Downton Abbey – Highclear Castle – Berkshire
With a global audience in excess of 120 million, Highclear Castle in Kent has seen something of a rebirth since the crew of Downton Abbey arrived on their doorstep in 2010. The castle needed more than £11 million in repairs prior to filming; it now attracts 1,200 visitors a day.
Alnwick Castle – Harry Potter – Northumberland
The worldwide success of the Harry Potter franchise ensured that the young Hogwarts pupil not only wove his magic in the classroom but also on the local tourism industry. Visit Britain estimate an extra £9 million has been pumped into the local economy by visitors to Alnwick Castle, which played host to the Quidditch games.
Broadchurch – Somerset and Dorset
The sight of former time lord David Tennant and critically acclaimed Olivia Coleman solving crime in Clevedon, Portishead and West Bay, has seen searches for accommodation in Somerset and neighboring Dorset soar by more than 200%
Doc Martin – Port Isaac – Cornwall
The picturesque village of Port Isaac in Cornwall was home to the long running Doc Martin series starring Martin Clunes for more than a decade. As a result, many visiting Cornwall now see the location as a key feature on their to-do list.
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens – The Forest Of Dean
Forest scenes for the latest Star Wars blockbuster were shot at Puzzlewood in Coleford. The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley have played a vital role in other major film and TV productions including; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which featured Coppett Hill and Dr Who filmed at Clearwell caves. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association has devised an online trail with the aim of reeling in an additional £35m of visitor revenue over three years. The interest created by the website visitdeanwyefilm.co.uk will no doubt generate a welcome boost by way of additional holiday cottage bookings in the area.
Various Programmes – The Historic Dockyard – Chatham – Kent
With Meryl Streep becoming the latest in a long list of stars to begin filming in Kent, The Historic Dockyard is perhaps the most prolific venue featured on our list. The location has played host to shows including Mr Selfridge, Les Miserables, Sherlock Holmes and Call the Midwife.
The site now supports more that 500 jobs and contributes in excess of £16 million to the local economy each year.
Are you taking advantage?
If you’re holiday home is situated near a popular filming location, are you marketing it and encouraging these visitors to stay with you?
Here’s our film-set marketing checklist:
- Have you got a page on your website dedicated to the local film set? (Top Tip: Ensure you include the television programme name in your page title to increase your search engine visibility).
- Do you also add content to your blog about the television programme in order to increase the chances of the information being seen by visitors? (Top tip: Consider phrasing your post as “Where is XX filmed?” – this gains high levels of search volume for television programmes and will bring more traffic to your site)
- Do you know when the next series will begin and do you have a plan in place?
- Do you tweet about the location and other things to do in your local area?
- Do you share information about the location and other things to do in your local area on your Facebook page?
- Have you sent information about the local venue and how close you are to previous guests? This can be particularly effective when the series is being shown on television.
- Do you have offers or discounts on admission you are able to give guests?
- Do you have up to date information on admission, opening dates and times, how to get there, where to eat and how to make a day of it for your guests?
If you have any thoughts or experience of Film and TV tourism boosting bookings for holiday lets please leave a comment below.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.