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Act 1 – Film Tourism: Hollywood Location Vacations

“Hire” Hollywood for Destination Placement and Unleash Film Tourism in Florida

Film tourism is the creation of vacation demand to visit locations made popular due to their appearance in network scripted television series and studio movies. This new category of tourist selects vacation destinations strictly based upon TV series and movies. This phenomenon is transforming and expanding global tourism; TripAdvisor found 1 in 5 global travelers visited a location because they saw it on a TV show [4]. “Destination placement” is an industry term for location product placement within television series and movies.

No location has experienced the impact of film tourism like Iceland. Due to its part in Game of Thrones (“GOT”), Iceland has experienced a dizzying 386% growth in tourism from 2010 to 2018 [4]. The “GOT effect” is cited as the main factor in Iceland’s jump from approximately 566,000 visitors in 2011 to over 1 million visitors in 2015. GOT filming locations gained an average 120% increase in tourist interest on TripAdvisor. Croatia’s struggling economy has been boosted by a 10% year-over-year increase in tourism since the show began filming there. Kils, Croatia saw a staggering 579% surge in search traffic on TripAdvisor. Northern Ireland cites a direct economic benefit of £82m (approx. $100 million) from GOT, and capitalized on that with a GOT tourism campaign that is recognized as their “most successful in history” [5].

More examples of film tourism and destination placement include:

  • Nashville: The city entirely funded the fifth season of the TV series Nashville and saw its massive tourism increases continue [4]. Nashville’s tourism industry broke another record in 2018 with 15.2 million visitors—an increase of almost 5% over 2017’s visitor record [6].
  • Hawaii and the North Shore: Not only did Universal’s Blue Crush help Hawaii break tourism records in 2005 [7], but the film also resulted in a 300% increase in women visiting the North Shore [8] which was transformed from a seasonal surf spot into a year-round tourist destination [7].
  • Florida and Tampa: Warner Brothers’ Dolphin Tale employed 1,300 Floridians; quadrupled Tampa’s aquarium attendance; and grew annual state revenue by $17M and, over five years, grew GDP by $2B [9].