Film tourism is a popular way to influence people to visit certain locations that one has witnessed in a movie. Seeing a location in a movie can provide excitement, a sense of adventure, and the thrill of visiting a place where popular movie characters have walked. This essay will describe the benefits and challenges of film tourism.
The impact of film tourism concerning bringing more people to certain areas cannot be denied. Research that has been conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) points to film tourism being a major factor in determining how many visitors frequent a particular geographic area. For instance, in 2014, screen tourists provided between 100 and 140 million dollars to the UK. The Harry Potter movies helped to rake in some major money for the UK. Said the article “Film Tourism Research” about the film’s impact, “Alnwick Castle (famously the home of Hogwarts for the first two Harry Potter films) generated £4.3 million in screen tourism spend in 2014” .
If a person enjoys seeing a film and is moved by it in some way, whether it is a love story, a comedy, science fantasy, or psychological thriller, then that viewer will most likely want to visit the film location. Cities that are often thought in a negative way, such as Buffalo, New York or Detroit, Michigan may benefit from having films use the cities as a back-drop. The city of Buffalo is already demonstrating that it is increasing in popularity. Within the past year, two movies have been filmed there, such as “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and a film about Thurgood Marshall . Buffalo is slowly starting to be recognized as a place to visit and enjoy, Buffalo’s Waterfront transformed into a fun, picturesque place over the past few years.
Another benefit of film tourism is that this type of tourism can bring money to areas that are in poverty and need help. Money from tourists can be used to improve cities, in terms of better infrastructures, more jobs, repairing roads, better transportation systems, and getting the homeless off of the street. Film tourism can also inspire movie producers and directors to use these locations in the future for other movies.
One of the challenges is that a movie where bad characters and much tragedy occurs may create bad publicity for certain locations. For instance, a movie that focuses on a massive genocide, such as the Holocaust may not inspire as many people to visit. Thinking of visiting the place could produce bad feelings and sadness, something that tourists do not want to feel when going on vacation. Another challenge is that some locations may get too many people. Certain locations may get flooded, which can difficult for business owners. It can also deplete an area’s resources at the expense of other areas that could be benefiting from increased tourism. While one city is getting richer off of film tourism, other cities may be neglected .
In addition to this, the effects of film tourism is usually noticed for a short time period. For instance, if actors have been on location in Yellowstone National Park, people will visit the park more for only as long as the movie remains popular. After the movie’s popularity fades away, then the drop in tourists will occur. The way that people in the region respond to tourism may also be detrimental. If a movie features fishing and the region focuses on developing fishing areas to attract tourists, the other elements in a city that need to be transformed may not get enough attention .
Film tourism is a mostly a good way to increase traffic to certain destinations. Popular movies, such as Harry Potter, can inspire people to visit the places where movies were filmed. Film tourism has the potential to bring money to impoverished areas and to help cities improve its physical structures. However, film tourism can also result in the depleting of resources and neglecting other areas that need attention. Film tourism seems to be a delicate balance that needs to be upheld.
- Film Tourism Research. (2015). Retrieved from Creative England : http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/production-services/film-tourism-research
- Herbert, G. (2016, April 13). Thurgood Marshall movie to film in Buffalo thanks to NY tax credit. Retrieved from Syracuse.com website : http://www.syracuse.com/movies/index.ssf/2016/04/thurgood_marshall_movie_buffalo_ny_tax_credits_chadwick_boseman.html
The Danger of Film Tourism for Destinations: The cases of New Zealand, Northern Ireland, and South Korea. (2014, October 27). Retrieved from Jounreny Close to Home. com website : https://journeyclosetohome.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/the-danger-of-film-tourism-for-destinations-the-cases-of-new-zealand-northern-ireland-and-south-korea