How television series serve to promote tourist destinations

Dec 17, 2013


We are witnessing the birth of  am increasingly more frequent trend in the travel industry. Tourist destinations are increasingly more frequently owing their competitiveness to their connection with the production of feature films and television series.

The impact on audiences of filming audiovisual productions has been studied for years. It has been concluded that a direct emotional correlation exists establishing a relationship between on audiences audience’s impact generated by the filming of audiovisual productions.

Travelers base a great deal of their travel decisions on perceived reality, namely sensations and emotions one conjurers up while viewing images or footage of the destination.
It is therefore natural for movie or TV series viewers tend to wish to travel to the places or locations they come into contact with as a result of their media consumption habits. This type of attraction is a result of the emotional relationships that intertwine between the plot and the locales.

Most recently, the hit television series Breaking Bad, perhaps the most watched (it celebrated its grand series finale with an audience of 10.3 million viewers) and critically-acclaimed in recent years.
The series focused on the life of a high school chemistry teacher who, after receiving a disheartening lung cancer prognosis, decidedly addresses the situation by building a makeshift meth lab with the purpose of making easy money and be able to provide for his family once he succumbs to the disease.
During the beginning of the series, the residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico (where the series takes place) felt uncomfortable nor seem identified with the violence, gloom or the trafficking of drugs which negatively reflects on their city.
Nevertheless, following the serie’s successful run during its first seasons, Albuquerque’s tourism industry experienced a heightened level of activity, taking the Albuquerque Destination Marketing Organization by surprise.

After its third season, the city of Albuquerque started to boost its visibility in the on-going discussions across social media sites and the press, gaining recognition and popularity.

Previously, Albuquerque was not considered a sough after tourist destination, nor did it have any clue as to the resources it possessed or industries which sustained its economy. Only after the success of the series did the city began capitalizing on its triumph to lure visitors to tour the various places where scenes were filmed.
Travel agencies, tour operators and merchants began marketing products relating to the series, such as the iconic The Candy Lady  confectionery shop, which made available for sale candy in the shape of the meth produced in the series, selling well over 35,000 pieces of candy for US$ 1.00 a piece.
The Albuquerque Trolley Company tourism agency developed a tour borrowing its name from the series, strolling tourists around in limos across strategic areas where the series was shot.

This success story further confirms the growth of the marketing efforts undertaken for destinations through films and television series. Nobody doubts anymore that tourist destination serve as a stage for audiovisual productions, and have come to represent an important tourist revenue segment.
Tourism and the production of audiovisual content are closely related, a situation that opens another channel to promote tourism effectively.
Destinations may include establishing a partnership with film and TV producers as part of their strategy.
Skift recently carried out a study regarding the growth of destination marketing by way of movies and television series where the factors motivating visitors to seek out film and TV series destinations.
We invite you to review the findings for The Rise and of Destination Marketing Through Movies and TV .


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