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Dissertation: Film Induced Tourism: TV Series


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This paper demonstrates the relation between the ability of television series as a promotional tool and the popularity of tourist destinations. Not only will the phenomenon of film-induced tourism will be explained, which is a widely growing aspect within the tourism industry, but also the profile of the film tourist will be outlined. A practical case study examines the impact of three immense popular television series on their filming locations, based on data collected from official tourist boards, companies who offer services or products related to a television series and local accommodation companies.

Published in: Travel

Dissertation: Film Induced Tourism: TV Series

  2. 2. 2 ABSTRACT This paper demonstrates the relation between the ability of television series as a promotional tool and the popularity of tourist destinations. Not only will the phenomenon of film-induced tourism will be explained, which is a widely growing aspect within the tourism industry, but also the profile of the film tourist will be outlined. A practical case study examines the impact of three immense popular television series on their filming locations, based on data collected from official tourist boards, companies who offer services or products related to a television series and local accommodation companies. Keywords: tourism, film-induced tourism, television series, filming locations, economic impact RESUMEN En este trabajo se demuestra la relación entre la capacidad de las series de televisión como herramienta de promoción y la popularidad de los destinos turísticos. No sólo se explicará el fenómeno del turismo inducido por el cine, que es un aspecto en constante crecimiento dentro de la industria del turismo, sino también el perfil del turista cinematográfico. Un estudio práctico examina el impacto de tres series de televisión extremadamente populares sobre sus lugares de rodaje, basadose en datos obtenidos de las oficinas de turismo oficiales, las empresas que ofrecen servicios o productos relacionados con una serie de televisión y las empresas de alojamiento local. Palabras clave: turismo, turismo inducido por el cine, serie de televisión, lugares de rodaje, impacto económico
  3. 3. 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 5 2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 7 2.1 History of Cinema 7 2.2 History of Television 8 2.3 History of Television Programs 9 2.4 Psychoanalysis 10 2.5 History of Virtual Trips 12 2.6 An Approach to Film-Induced Tourism 14 2.6.1 Differences between cinema and television 14 2.6.2 Describing and Defining Film-Induced Tourism 14 2.7 Form of Filmed-Induced Tourism 16 2.8 Destination Marketing Through Film and TV series 19 2.9 Profile Film Tourist 20 2.10 Motivation Film Tourist 21 2.11 Economic Impacts of Film-Induced Tourism 23 3. EMPIRICAL PART 26 3.1 Introduction to Research 26 3.2 Research Methodology 27 3.3 Case Study 1: Game of Thrones 28 3.3.1 Northern Ireland & Belfast 28 3.3.2 Filming Locations 29 3.3.3 Game of Thrones Inspired Products and Services 32 3.3.4 Game of Thrones Inspired Promotion Campaign 34 3.3.5 Game of Thrones’ Economic Impact 35 3.3.6 Results Data Collection 37 3.4 Case Study 2: Downton Abbey 42 3.4.1 Oxfordshire & Highclere 42
  4. 4. 4 3.4.2 Filming Locations 44 3.4.3 Downton Abbey Inspired Products and Services 45 3.4.4 Downton Abbey Inspired Promotion Campaign 47 3.4.5 Downton Abbey’s Economic Impact 47 3.4.6 Results Data Collection 50 3.5 Case Study 3: Breaking Bad 54 3.5.1 Albuquerque, New Mexico 55 3.5.2 Filming Locations 56 3.5.3 Breaking Bad Inspired Products and Services 56 3.5.4 Breaking Bad Inspired Promotion Campaign 58 3.5.5 Breaking Bad’s Economic Impact 59 3.5.6 Results Data Collection 60 4. CONCLUSION 65 5. BIBLIOGRAPHY 67 6. APPENDICES 74 6.1 Appendix 1: survey directed to official tourist boards 74 6.2 Appendix 2: survey directed to companies who offer 78 TV series related services or products 6.3 Appendix 3: survey directed to accommodation companies 83
  5. 5. 5 1. INTRODUCTION Before proceeding to the core of this investigation, it is essential to understand and define all involved components. Let us start with the concept of tourism. The World Tourism Organization UNWTO (2005/2007) describes it as followed: Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which imply tourism expenditure. As tourism has an impact on various areas, such as economy, environment, local population and on the tourists themselves, a holistic approach, where all parts are interconnected, seems the most appropriate. The effects film and television series have on the human behaviour have been discussed for ages, especially if we think about violent films/television shows and their consequences on society. Slocum (2000) notes that many social scientists assume that the film industry serves as an agent of social control and change. Taking into account the fact that the average American spends more than 34 hours a week watching live television (Hinckley, 2012), we cannot ignore that television influences our lives and thus also interferes when it comes to picking out our next holiday destination. Tourism and watching TV are two big players in our world of leisure, which are combined perfectly in film-induced tourism. “The term ‘film-induced tourism’ relates to on-location tourism that follows the success of a film or television series made in a particular region” (Beeton, 2005, p.9). Roesch (2009, p.6) defines film tourism as “(…) a specific pattern of tourism that drives visitors to see screened places during or after the production of a feature film or a television production”. This relatively new form of tourism still receives little attention although the number of tourists visiting destinations driven by films/television series is increasing rapidly. As the tourism industry is very competitive and on top of that it has reached a
  6. 6. 6 stage of maturity, film-induced tourism can be a way out of this maturity and at the same time a way to differentiate from other destinations. The difference between films and television series lies in the length of the screening and filming period, which is obviously longer for series. This creates a stronger relationship between the viewer and the series’ characters and setting, which keeps the series longer in the people’s mind with a result of long-term impacts. In general films don’t manage to have such a long-term impact, unless it is an enormously popular one. Besides according to an analysis conducted by the Hollywood and media business news site The Wrap, founded by the author and journalist for The Washington Post and The New York Times Sharon Waxman, the profits generated by television shows are much higher than the ones generated by films. Time Warner, the world’s second largest media and entertainment conglomerate, states that their small-screen divisions are responsible for about 80 percent of its profits. Although they produced big film hits like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Harry Potter’, their television shows like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Two and Half Men’ earn countless millions more (The Wrap, 2012). Table 1 - Media and entertainment conglomerates’ profits Films TV Viacom $341 M $3.85 B Disney $618 M $6.15 B Time Warner $600 M $5.05 B News Corp $927 M $3.67 B NBCU $ 27 M $3.318 B Total $2.513 B $22.0 B Fuente: The Wrap, 2011 This paper aims to clarify the relationship between television series and tourism. The impact of recent successful television series on their filming locations will be discussed based on an investigation that has been done through, amongst others, taking surveys of the involved parties. Other objectives of this paper are: identifying the benefits for the filming locations, explaining what makes people visit a destination that appeared in television series and understanding how tourism promotion occurs through these series.
  7. 7. 7 2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 2.1 History of Cinema The story of the motion picture industry begins in the late 19th century, when the American inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) created a machine called the Kinetoscope. With this device people could watch short films through a peephole viewer window at the top of this wooden box. The big disadvantage of the Kinetoscope was of course the fact that the moving pictures could only be seen by one person at the time. Inspired by Edison’s invention, the Lumière brothers, whose family business manufactured photographic equipment, came up with an improved version of the Kinetoscope, which they called the Cinématographe. This device was both a camera and a projector, which allowed projection of films onto a screen whereby several people could watch a film together. On December 28, 1895, the Lumière brothers projected films for the first time for a paying audience at the Grande Café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. That magical day is considered by many historians as the birthday of cinema. The challenge of the first filmmakers was to capture images that might interest people. Scenes of everyday life, news subjects, travelogues, recorded theater performances were the earliest topics. Soon after that comic narratives and dramatic stories were projected on the silver screen. By 1910 especially designed theaters for the projection of films had already been created. In the early years the film distribution was quite primitive and only made possible through fairs, but that was about to change when the Pathé brothers came up with a model for film distribution by sending representatives to sell equipment and films. However the First World War made the Pathé brothers lose their advantage and Hollywood began to take over the world market. Finally when the stage of innovation could be left behind, the next challenge was to convince the rest of the world to adopt it. More than ten years it took cinema to become a mass leisure time activity and convince the world of its art form. Now films could begin to become an industry of
  8. 8. 8 influential, profitable enterprises and set the stage for a social, economic, and cultural change, which would alter the world substantially. 2.2 History of Television The word television comes from the Greek prefix tele and the Latin word vision or ‘seeing from a distance’. In its early years television used a combination of optical, mechanical and electronic technologies to capture, transmit and display a visual image. The big breakthrough in technology was the ability to send sound and pictures over the air. The invention of television did not depend on just one person, but of the contribution on various individuals who started to experiment along the 19th century. Later on, in 1925, John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, succeeded in transmitting moving silhouette images. This milestone is, in general, considered as the world’s first true demonstration of television. In 1927, Baird also showed the first video recording system and colour television to the world. A broadcast in colour can be created by broadcasting three monochrome images: one in red, one in green and one in blue (RGB). When they are shown together, these images will blend together to produce a full colour image. Due to its high cost it was not until the mid-1960s that colour TV’s started selling in large numbers and in 1972 sales finally surpassed the ones of black-and-white TV’s. One of the most famous TV transmissions of history must be the one of Neil Armstrong when walking on the moon’s surface in 1969. Nowadays a living room without a TV is almost unthinkable, it has become a natural part of our environment. Television has turned into the most influential mass media communication, evolved into our primary source of news, weather and entertainment and made the world of advertising boom like no other medium had ever achieved.
  9. 9. 9 2.3 History of Television Programs Before the rise of television, it was the radio which was present in the living rooms of many families, providing them with the latest news but also with entertainment, such as music and children programs, quizzes, sports and short stories, which can be classified in different genres: comedy, thriller, drama and soap opera. One of the best examples in the history of radio plays must be Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’. The story was set in the present of that time (1938) and took place in New Jersey. During the radio play the Mercury Theatre used the sound of the radio news bulletins, which gave the story a real touch. A growing number of people tuned over to the CBS radio station to discover all about the things that were happening on Mars and later on about the invasion of the Martians on our planet Earth. The fictional story felt so real that a certain number of people believed it was true and panicked. No wonder that radio is sometimes called ‘the theatre of the mind’. Later on, Orson Welles went on to Hollywood to make his first film, Citizen Kane, which still can be considered as one of the best films ever made. Television borrowed many things from radio, not only regarding the content, but also the structure of the industry. In many countries, radio and later TV were controlled by the government and the funding came from taxes. Both industries were and are also driven by revenues from advertising which implies the paramount importance of measuring the size of the audience. Radio had provided sports, news, drama, mystery, comedy, detective shows, quiz shows, reality programs, music, soap operas, and so on. Television borrowed all of these concepts and added very few new ones, offering very little that was new or different to its audience in the early years. Television shows have evolved through the years from comedies to reality. In the 1950s family comedies were extremely popular and as having a TV was a luxury thing, watching TV was something special, where the family feeling was at the heart of experience. In the TV shows of that time we can see how this family aspect is reflected, e.g., the father figure would come home to his loving wife, who cleans the house, takes care of the children, prepares food and so on. TV series were like good news shows, and if there was a conflict between a couple obviously they would resolve their problem and another happy ending had arrived. Not only happiness was
  10. 10. 10 transmitted through these TV shows also lessons were learned, where each story would have a moral. In the early years of television the amount of commercials was still insignificant. Nowadays reality TV shows are popular, because people like looking at others who are just like them, not perfect. Reality TV is also easy and cheap to make, because it lacks a professional cast of actors. It is just people of the street who act crazy and in many case don’t have any sense of decency. Back in the 50’s you would have been looked down upon for presenting yourself in such a way. Over time the family aspect started to change as well. Women normally were portrayed as the glamourous girl, or as the stay at home wife. The man usually was the boss and went to work. Now there are all types of scenarios. And the children are shown just as disfunctional as the adults, or sometimes even worse. Television shows today that different relationships are possible and that marriage is far from perfect. The happy family with the happy ending has come to an end. Today’s TV series have a much more complex storyline than they used to have, which implies a longer story length. The fact that TV series are longer now, may benefit the world of commercialism. These days people are overwhelmed with so many commercial breaks, that more and more viewers choose for a provider of on-demand internet streaming media, like Netflix, to watch their favourite show. 2.4 Psychoanalysis In 1931 the American film industry was already being called a ‘dream factory’ (Ehrenburg, 1931), due to the strong similarity between film images and dreams. The Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875-1961), states that the way we understand our relation to the world is largely conscious, but at the same time there is a part of our psyche, which is unconscious and which we cannot just put aside. One of the clearest ways these unconscious elements show themselves is through dreams. As films are like dreams and those dreams are a manifestation of our
  11. 11. 11 unconscious, we cannot ignore the relationship between film and the unconscious. “Cinema remixes the real, the unreal, the present, real life, memory, and dream on the same shared mental level” (Morin, n.d. cited in Diken and Lausten, 2007, p.8). The link between film and the unconscious is not a new perception. Film as the inner working of the psyche had been discussed by earlier theorists in the 1920s and 1930s, but it was not until the 1970s that full attention was given to the effect of film on the viewers. For Morin, cinema parallels the human psyche: We all have a little cinema in our head. The imaginary capacity of cinema, its production of images, is paralleled by the imaginary potential of the human mind. Cinema makes participation in other’s lives and identification with them possible; thus through a film a conservative housewife might feel empathy for the prostitute. In other words, cinema tries to integrate the flow of the film into the psyche of the audience. But it must be said that this relationship also goes up the other way around. The moving images filmmakers create and display to the audience, are also a result of what lives in one’s psyche. According to Diken and Lausten (2007) “it is possible to say that it is not cinema which serves as a royal route to the understanding of the mind but inversely it is the mind, or rather the unconscious, that manifests itself in reality”. Jaques Lacan (1901-1981) was a French psychoanalyst who made his first official contribution to psychoanalysis with the ‘mirror stage’ concept. The mirror stage is based on the belief that infants go through a stage in which an external image of the body, for example reflected in a mirror or by mother or father, produces a psychic response that gives birth to the mental, and thus imaginary, representation of an ‘I’. Later on, based on the imaginary ego, one’s unique personality will develop. Lacan’s work had also its influence within the study of cinema, because according to psychoanalysts there are similarities between the infant’s physical condition during the mirror stage and an adult watching a film. This comparison introduced the analysis between the working of the mind and cinema. Although film is not a mirror it seems that it gives the viewers a similar feeling of joy as seeing their reflection during the mirror stage. Now how do films create a repetition of this feeling? According to the Lacan followers, the viewer’s first
  12. 12. 12 identification is not with the characters of the film, but with the point of view of the camera and gives them the illusion that they create the images appearing before their eyes. To summarize, the viewers find themselves between dream and reality, which shows some similarities with the sensations that come to tourists. While on holiday it is in many cases an escape from daily routine and a stressful job. People are living in a state of temporary joy, while contemplating surroundings that are usually breathtaking or just very different from what they are used to, which stimulates their senses and takes them to another ‘world’, forgetting about all their worries. The tourists’ views about the services provided during the holiday can be seen as the reality part of the trip/dream. Now for the audience, watching film make them disconnect their minds from the world around them to enter a surreal one where reality’s unpleasant sides are temporarily forgotten, but where, like in a dream, desires and frustrations, coming from the psyche, can come to the surface through the exposure of the images. As Conrady and Buck (2009, p.156) state “Cinema becomes real to such an extent that viewers gain the opportunity to enter parts of the precious imaginary. In this way, film viewing itself may be understood as a form of tourism (…)”. 2.5 History of Virtual Trips In a world already saturated with representations of travel, travelogue films arose as the newest and most modern form of travel media. A few years after the rise of cinema, in the mid-1890s, a large number of places on almost every continent had been filmed. Travelogues showed cities, regions, nation-states, continents and even hemispheres. In New York, late 1912, the people could watch the two-hour film ‘Atop of the World in Motion’, directed by Beverly B. Dobbs, about life in Alaska and Siberia at the Weber’s New York Theatre on Broadway. This film was used to promote polar exploration, while several polar expeditions were already under way. Other examples of that period’s film travelogues, were: ‘Life and People South of the Equator’ (Great Northern, 1911), ‘Pekin, the Walled City’ (Eclipse, 1910), ‘In Old England’ (Kalem, 1914), ‘Curious Scenes in India’ (Edison, 1913), ‘Strange Places and Quaint People in New
  13. 13. 13 York’ (Kalem, 1912), ‘Arabian Customs’ (Gaumont, 1911) and so on. Many of these film travelogues focused on people and their customs, natural landscapes (rivers, mountains, caves, waterfalls), but also on a country’s or region’s industry, for example ‘Making Bamboo Hats in Java’ (Eclipse, 1911). We can say that Travelogue films updated older forms of representations such as photographs. It was all about capturing and documenting the entire globe, almost like map making and it were especially the countries considered as the colonial powers who were interested in travelogues, to keep them informed about their efforts in their colonies. But at the same time these travelogues were commercial films and therefore they were not committed in businesses of state control. In general early cinema was criticized as a form of cheap amusement, but travelogues, which had an educational character, were seen as something ‘high-class’. Richard Altick (1915-2008) an American literary scholar, demonstrated the link between education and pleasure in travelogues and refers to it as a ‘rational amusement’. Even today’s IMAX films (films recorded on a far higher resolution and displayed on a far bigger screen than conventional film systems) are educational and have travelogue characteristics, with titles such as ‘Rocky Mountain Express’ (2011), ‘The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea’ (2012), ‘To the Artic 3D’ (2012), and so on. As a consequence of the simultaneous emergence of the film industry and the different modes of transportation (steamship, train, automobile) all elements were present for a successful takeoff of the tourism industry, were (travelogue) film was/is an important stimulus. We can say that tourism and cinema go historically hand in hand. Table 2 - History of Tourism & Cinema Source: Film-Induced Tourism by Rafael Basáñez (2011, p.25)
  14. 14. 14 “Travelogues have the power to send the viewer into a daydreaming state of mind” (Peterson, 2013). 2.6 An Approach to Film-Induced Tourism 2.6.1 Differences between cinema and television Cinema and television show some differences in their method of representation, which can be summarised in two main points. First of all, cinema offers a film as a public event, while television series are watched in a private, casual atmosphere. Second, the film storyline is developed, in general terms, around a specific problem that has to be resolved at the end of the film, when in television series an open-end is preferred because of the interconnection between the different episodes. Hereby the viewer has more time to develop empathy with the characters. The different episodes, of which a television series consits, imply obviously a longer screening period than for films, which again, creates a stronger relationship between the viewer and the characters. The social network ‘Facebook’ shows us clear examples of how this empathy/sympathy that grows between the viewer and television series characters is expressed. It is remarkable how many fan pages and even personal profiles are dedicated to each character of the immense popular TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. 2.6.2 Describing and Defining Film-Induced Tourism We may travel in reality or in our thoughts and dreams, through books and, of course, through films, which lead us to the ends of the earth and beyond. For more than 100 years, it is film, more than any other medium, which has taken us on journeys (…) the creative and consistent link between the fields of film and tourism is, above all, an exciting, surprising and promising path, on which will have immense benefits for visitors and investors in the future (Roesch, 2009, p.11). If one wants to refer to tourism which arises or grows due to films or TV series several terms can be used: ‘film tourism’, ‘film-induced tourism’, ‘media-induced tourism’, ‘movie-induced tourism’, or ‘cinematographic tourism’. Which one is used varies from author to author, but the
  15. 15. 15 phenomenon they refer to is the same. Riley and van Doren (1998, in Kezban Anul, 2013, p.4), who can be seen as pioneer authors in this matter, describe film-induced tourism as follows: Through films, people are sometimes induced to visit what they have seen on the silver screen. If this gaze is directed at objects of features which are extraordinary and thus distinguish the ‘site/sight’ of the gaze from others, then the properties of a film location – whether scenic, historical, or literary – qualify as icons for tourists to gaze upon. That is, in the sense that people are seeking sights/sites seen on the silver screen, they become film-induced tourists. Busby and Klug (2001, in Vagionis & Loumioti, 2011) refer to this phenomenon as cinematographic tourism. According to the authors cinematographic tourism happens if somebody visits a destination because this person has seen it in a film, video or television. Hudson and Ritchie (2006) called it film-tourism and define it as tourist visits to a destination or attraction as a result of the destination being featured on television, video or cinema screen. Beeton (2005) uses film-induced tourism as a term for the phenomenon and defines it as tourism that follows the success of a film or series made or set in a particular region and which is featured on TV, video or DVD. Film-induced tourism is a worldwide flourishing industry driven by the growth in travelling and the development of the visual media entertainment industry. In the early 1990s Tooke and Baker accomplished a study in the United Kingdom, which shows that films or television series have a big impact on the choice of a tourism destination. According to the study there can be an increase of visitors up to 93% within one year after a film/TV series release. Another research by Riley, Baker and Van Doren, also in the 90’s, shows similar results: an increase in tourists up to 96% in a film location until five years after the premiere. As clearly can be seen, the results in visitor growth are spectacular. Film-induced tourism proves itself as a very powerful marketing tool and with long-term effects, which even can get extended in the case of television series, as their length of the screening and filming period is quite longer (previously explained in the introduction). Film-induced tourism can also be an answer to seasonality since visiting film locations can be done the whole year through.
  16. 16. 16 Film-induced tourism has been around ever since film theaters and television started to arise, showing motion images of places no one had heard before. It added pictures to the words you had only heard and created a curiosity to go there. 2.7 Form of Filmed-Induced Tourism Film-induced tourism can manifest itself in many different forms. For some people it may be the only goal of their trip, for others it just may be the participation in an organised location tour, or visiting a specific location from a particular scene. Some of these locations have already been a tourist attraction for many years, while other locations are turned into attractions only because of their appearance in a film or television series. This is especially the case where film crews left sets behind after finishing the filming. What before was just an unimportant piece of land turns into a tourist attraction. A good example is the Hobbit film set, from ‘Lord Of The Rings’. Out of nothing a place of tourist interest has been created. In the case of big an international film or TV series hit, film-induced tourism can be the only reason to travel. Interviews taken from location tourists by Roesch (2009) show us that there are people who travel to Tunisia with the only goal of visiting the ‘Star Wars’ film locations. The same goes up for the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ hard-core fans visiting New Zealand. It also must be said that the degree of fanaticism of the film location tourists can change over time. In the first years after the film release, the film locations are more likely to be visited by tourist with a very high degree of fanaticism. As time goes by, this degree of fanaticism decreases and film or TV series as a main goal for traveling, moves slowly to the background. It can be said that most people already had a confrontation with a film location during their trips even if that was not their goal. A tour guide might point out an area or landscape which has been used as a film location, which it can be totally, new and surprising information to the tourist. For example someone can visit Bruges just because it is a very beautiful medieval city, but during a tour with a local guide, it is possible that he/she mentions, while standing on a certain spot, a scene from the film ‘In Bruges’, with Colin Farrell.
  17. 17. 17 Film location tourists may even visit locations that did not appear in a film or television series. For instance, the film ‘Braveheart’ (1995) tells the story of the struggle for Scottish independence. While the film supposedly takes place in Scotland, most of the scenes were shot in Ireland. Nevertheless, the film made the people flock to Scotland. On the other hand, for many tourists, knowing that a region or landscape has been the filming location of certain a film/TV series is simply part of the pleasure of travelling through that area. Film-induced tourism can also lead to off-location tourism, which covers a wide variety of different film related attractions and events, such as film studio tours, film studio theme parks, film premieres and film festivals (Beeton, 2005).
  18. 18. 18 Table 3 – Forms & Characteristics of Film-Induced Tourism Source: Film-induced Tourism by Sue Beeton (2005, p.10-11)
  19. 19. 19 2.8 Destination Marketing Through Film Picturing places through fictional television films or television series has created a new development in place imaging through television. With series such as ‘Dallas’ (1978-1991), which continues to attract 400,000 visitors a year to Southfork Ranch in Texas (Dettmer, 2005 cited in Roesch, 2007 p.26), television introduced a new phenomenon: “the attributes of a place could now be globally received and accepted through televised images, which resulted in the creation of a globally accepted sense of these portrayed places” (Massey, 1994). The tourism industry has now started promoting places through television and film with various strategies. In some cases, the promoted places have even taken over fictional brand names. In the county of Hertfordshire, just outside London, a tiny town called Kings Langley changed its name (for a week) to ‘King’s Landing’, the capital’s name of the imaginary world of the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, to celebrate the DVD release of the third season (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2014). Media-based destination imaging exists out of two different types of media: official and unofficial imaging media. Official imaging media are all media designed by tourism marketers to promote a destination, such as: brochures, flyers, press articles and travel magazines, websites, promotional DVDs and television travel documentaries. The fact that this type of promotion is controlled by marketing staff gives them the opportunity to choose carefully and with the greatest consideration, the kind of image that will be transmitted to the viewers, where negative images obviously are avoided. On the other hand unofficial imaging media are all sources of media that are not created by tourism marketers to promote a place: novels, photographs, television, websites, magazines, television programmes or films and TV series. “This form of media is not created to attract tourists, but it can increase tourism and influence expectations of a destination” (Bordelon & Dimanche, 2011). It is obvious that over unofficial media, marketers have no influence whatsoever. This can be problematic if a destination is portrayed in a negative way. In many cases an intervention is impossible. Yet this unofficial imaging media has not only disadvantages. For example this media type is a completely free form of advertising and on top of that, it often reaches more people than official media, due to the financial limitations of the tourist marketers. As it has no intentions to attract tourists, people don’t perceive it as annoying
  20. 20. 20 publicity. And finally, unofficial media can also take away negative prejudices people have towards certain places. 2.9 Profile Film Tourist According to a classification by Macionis (2004) we can divide the film-induced tourists in three main types: 1. General tourists, are those tourists which are not engaged in film-induced tourism; they might know that certain sites have been featured in films but do not show an interest in visiting. 2. Incidental film tourists, are those that did not intend to visit a specific film site, but came across one during the course of their holidays and decided tot visit it. 3. Dedicated film tourists, are those who travel to the destination specifically to see the exact locations depicted on screen or to visit a film set. Roesch (2009) studied the experiences of film-induced tourists on three different film locations: Salzburg (Sound of Music), Tunisia (Star Wars) and New Zealand (The Lord of the Rings). Thereby, he found that most film-induced tourists generally are well informed about the destination and get most information from the internet, travel guides or word of mouth. For most of them film-induced tourism was something new, a first time experience. Regarding the origin of these tourists, the majority was from western countries, mainly USA, UK, Germany, Australia and Canada. The profile of the tourists varied depending on the locations and the themes of the films. For example, Salzburg, the location of the film ‘The Sound of Music’ has a more family theme and therefore attracted more women, where on the other hand the ‘Star Wars’ locations attracted more men. The age range concerning, Roesch (2009) identified three major ages groups:
  21. 21. 21 1. Gappies: backpackers who have taken a year off before or after college. They are in their early 20s and travel on a shoestring budget and have more time available at the destination than the other groups. 2. Revivals: people aged between 40-50 years who often travel with their partner or children to see the film locations; they have less time but more money. 3. Initials: people aged 60 and over. Other characteristics of the film-induced tourist discovered by Roesch (2009) was obviously a high degree of fanaticism and the ownership of the film/TV series DVD and the repeatedly watching of it before visiting the destination. Figure 1 – Increasing Interest in Film: Profiles & Motivations Source: Motion Picture Association of America, 2013 2.10 Motivation Film Tourist The motivators for film location tourists, according to Macionis (2004), are the three factors of ‘place’ (location, attributes, landscapes, scenery), ‘personality’ (cast, characters, celebrity) and ‘performance’ (plot, theme, genre). Iso-Ahola (1982) explains tourism motivation through his social-psychological model, which consists of two motivational dimensions: ‘escaping’ and ‘seeking’. Both dimensions influence the tourist simultaneously. Iso-Ahola (1983) states that one’s travel behaviour is influenced by the desire to ‘escape’ form his personal routine or
  22. 22. 22 interpersonal environment. This dimension refers to a person leaving his personal problems behind. On the other hand ‘seeking’ rewards the personal or interpersonal experiences. It consists of learning, exploration and relaxation, while social interaction is the external reward. Figure 2 – Social Psychological Model of Tourism Motivation source: Adapted from Iso-Ahola (1987) As Roesch (2009) remarks, it is very difficult to figure out the exact motivations of film tourists. Many of them are often not able to state precisely what their main motivations are. They even have different motivations at the same time without any preference. Roesch (2009) goes even further and says that it impossible to recognize whether it is about the motivation to experience the film set, its surrounding landscape or its function as a fictional place. Lastly, accessibility is not a motivational driver to discover film locations. It is a precondition to attract visitors in large numbers. No single theory can possibly enclose all individual travel motivations (Parinello, 1996). This, alongside the heterogeneous nature of tourism behaviour and the belief that multiple motivations can be experienced simultaneously, makes it a challenging area to investigate (Pearce, 1993 cited in Singh, p.99).
  23. 23. 23 2.11 Economic Impacts of Film-Induced Tourism The biggest problem to investigate film tourism seems to be that there is not much deep research done on the economic benefits and visitor numbers and neither on reliable statistics. Many locations never counted visitors because they have never been a tourist attraction before. Nevertheless research shows us that the use of film locations as travel destinations has a high value (Tooke & Baker, 1996 cited in Conrady & Buck, 2009). Film-induced tourism is incredibly important if we talk about economic development, as many famous television and film sites are located in small and often rural communities where without a film production nothing ever would happen. One of the major economic benefits is that visiting film locations can be an all year and all weather event. That is how seasonality can be spread (Beeton, 2005). A study focused on the UK’s inbound international tourism shows that “films depicting the UK are responsible for attracting about 1 of 10 overseas tourists, spending around £1.8 billion a year. This is estimated to be worth around £900 million to UK GDP” (Gross Domestic Product) (Oxford Economics, 2007 cited in Motion Picture Association of America, 2013). A more recent study in New Mexico, US, suggests that in this state film tourism increases the number of visitors (between a 1.4% and 6.3%) and the average length of their trips (between a 1.2% and 12.4%). This was estimated to result in between 132 million USD and 950 million USD in visitor spending, between 1,450 and 10,400 in employment creation, and between 8.4 million and 60.3 million USD in state taxes generated (New Mexico Tourism Department, 2008). The New Zealand Tourism board has developed a methodology to estimate the exposure value of ‘Lord of the Rings’. Their goal was to find out what a marketing campaign would have cost to reach the same impact as the film did. Through this study it has been estimated that the amount of exposure New Zealand gained from the from the first ‘Lord of the Rings’ film would have cost more than $41 million to reach the same impact with marketing efforts (New Zealand Tourism Board, n.d. cited in Motion Picture Association of America, 2013).
  24. 24. 24 Within three years after the release of ‘Field of Dream’ (1989), it is estimated that 60,000 people travelled to Dyersville (Iowa) to visit the baseball diamond built on farmland for the production (Riley, Baker & Van Doren, 1998). After the release of ‘Gorillas In The Mist’ (1988), tourism to Rwanda increased by 20 per cent. When Steven Spielberg featured Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming as the alien’s landing site for ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, the number of visitors to the national park increased by 75 percent (Reeves, 2001 cited in Conrady & Buck, 2009). Tom Kershaw, the owner of the Bull and Finch hotel in Boston, has become extremely active in both the local and national tourism industry ever since his hotel was used as the site of the bar in the television series ‘Cheers’, and in 1994 he was appointed by President Clinton to the US Travel and Tourism Administration’s advisory board. The direct benefits of ‘Cheers’ include around 500,000 visitors to his pub per year, an annual food and beverage turnover of 6 million USD and ‘Cheers’ merchandising sales of around 7 million USD (Neale, 1994 cited in Beeton, 2005). Another example of success after an appearance on the screen is the Crown Hotel (Amersham), which was featured in the 1994 romantic comedy ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ (Riley et al. 1998). What makes this case remarkable is that the Crown Hotel is never mentioned by name (in the film it’s called ‘The Jolly Boatman’). Nevertheless, fans of the film searched for the location and the suite used in the film became fully booked for several years (Conrady & Buck, 2009). The British Tourist Authority says its movie map, featuring film and TV locations over 60 years, is one of its biggest successes; every £1 spent on producing it leads to £17 spent at a location on the map ‘About 20 per cent of overseas visitors say they’ve been influenced to see Britain by what they see in the media. That amounts to £2.5 billion a year,’ says the BTA’s Jo Leslie (Strauss, 2003, p.12).
  25. 25. 25 Table 3 – Film Tourism Impact in Destinations Source: Hudson & Ritchie, 2006
  26. 26. 26 3. EMPIRICAL PART 3.1 Introduction to Research When we talk about film-induced tourism the first idea that comes to our minds, as a definition of this term, is the tourism generated by film, referring to the silver screen. But film-induced tourism is much more than that, it includes also television series, therefore the term’s meaning lies more in the action of filming, regardless if it is intended for cinema or television. Nevertheless people will still in the first place relate film-induced tourism to cinema, but that might be about to change, because there appears to be a shift from film to TV series. Over the last few years people have showed a tendency to be more excited about new episodes of their favourite show than they are for the release of a new blockbuster film. These days there are more networks producing series than ever and people can access these shows very easily through streaming services like Netflix, but the most significant reason that series are taking over the business, is just because “there is nothing out worth seeing”. Many recent made films are sequels, remakes or even sequel-remakes. The quality offered by the film industry is dropping, while today’s TV series are showing us the real art. Even film director David Lynch states in an interview with The Independent (2012) “I like the idea of a continuing story and television is a way more interesting than cinema now. It seems like the art-house has gone to cable.” The Guardian (2013) puts it as follows: “Television, especially the television that’s being produced now, is wiping the floor with film.” Because television is becoming more and more a writer’s medium, it is attracting the best acting talents. The old scenario consisted out of the fact that actors started their careers in less quality TV shows to move on to become leading actors in quality films, but that scenario seems to have changed. For example actor Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman in ‘Breaking Bad’) ended up in a film of a computer game about some cars, after his very strong performance in the TV series ‘Breaking Bad’. No wonder that actors from Al Pacino to Kevin Spacey have returned to the small screen. In our research about the impact of film-induced tourism, we will follow this new trend in the world of entertainment and therefore focus on the impact on tourism that is generated by
  27. 27. 27 television series. The investigation analyses HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, ITV’s ‘Downton Abbey’ and AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’. 3.2 Research Methodology In this part the applied research methodology will be explained. In other words which process has been gone through to acquire the necessary data to demonstrate the impact of TV series on tourism. First of all it had to be determined which TV series would be used in the investigation. Some of the criteria were the popularity on international level and being a very recent series. As mentioned before, on the following pages the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ are exposed, but throughout the research the focus lied on more than those three series. Shows as ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Treme’, ‘The Tudors’ and ‘The Sopranos’ were also included in the investigation, but due to the lack of sufficient data those TV series weren’t incorporated in the research results. The investigation started with emailing official tourist boards asking them for information and numbers about the impact of the relevant TV series on the destination. That wasn’t a big success. Hardly any responses were received and therefore, strategies were changed and so the idea of creating online surveys arose. By using the services of Google Drive three different online surveys were created: one for tourist offices, one for companies who offer services of products related to a TV series and one focused on tourist accommodation. A total of 428 emails and some Facebook messages were sent twice to the three above mentioned target groups and only 42 responded, a percentage of only 9.81. All the emails and messages included a link to the online surveys. In the appendices examples of those surveys can be found. In this paper all the received data is put into charts and perspective and is explained.
  28. 28. 28 3.3 Case Study 1: Game of Thrones ‘Game of Thrones’ is an American TV series that has been broadcasted since April 2011 on the HBO (Home Box Office) premium television channel. HBO’s programming consists mainly of theatrically motion pictures and original television series. Home Box Office is the longest operating pay television service in the United States. The series ‘Game of Thrones’ is based on the novels of the American writer George R. R. Martin, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. The TV series is set in a medieval fantasy world, which consists of two continents, Westeros and Essos, where sorcery and dragons are something quite common. The multiple storylines tell the stories of noble families and savage tribes, which are involved in struggle for power or have even the will to take over the entire kingdom. Although ‘Game of Thrones’ is an American TV series, the filming happens in a film studio in Belfast and on location in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco. To describe the series’ genre, Film Affinity uses keywords as: drama, adventure, fantasy, medieval fantasy, sword and sorcery and dragons. On the 6th of April 2014 started the 4th season of this highly popular and awarded TV series. The three previous seasons have won 49 awards including ten Emmys and one Golden Globe and received 85 other nominations. 3.3.1 Northern Ireland & Belfast. Although ‘Game of Thrones’ is filmed in different countries, we will mainly focus on Northern Ireland, because this is the destination that is most associated with the series and also seems to generate the most tourist arrivals. Northern Ireland is located on the island of Ireland and is one of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland was created in 1921 when the British government split Ireland into two autonomous territories. As a tourist attraction Northern Ireland is best known for its stunning landscapes and scenery, such as the Causeway Coast and Glens, which is a coastal route that passes for example the Nine Glens of Antrim, impressive cliffs and the very famous Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt and is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other key destinations in Northern Ireland are: the
  29. 29. 29 city of Derry, an ancient yet contemporary city; the Sperrins Mountains, Northern Ireland’s largest and least explored mountain range; the Fermanagh Lakelands; Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland; the Mourne Mountains, which is an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty); Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland’s first marine nature reserve and Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles. Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland situated in the East at the mouth of the River Lagan. The city has a population of 483,000, including the surrounding suburbs and towns. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, most of the politically motivated violence has disappeared and Belfast was recently even awarded as the safest city in the UK. In the last decade the city has change dramatically due to this peace. Nowadays tourism has found its place in Belfast and is increasing ever since. It is a city that is proud of its Victorian and Edwardian heritage but in general Belfast is best known for its famous mural paintings on the ends of terraced houses dating from its troubled period, its typical pubs, its shipyards where the Titanic was built and the Queen’s University, one of the oldest universities in the UK. 3.3.2 Filming Locations The following list shows the most highlighted filming locations of ‘Game of Thrones’ by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Therefore it is the filming locations that are most exploited as a tourist attraction. “Let us introduce you to the locations in Northern Ireland where HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ creates a fantasy world worth dying for…” (Tourism Ireland, n.d.). Old Castle Ward lies on the grounds of the Castle Ward estate, Northwest of the village of Strangford. The old castle was built in the late 16th century by the Ward family. The estate also includes the more recent Castle Ward, which is a 18th century mansion with both Gothic and Classical architectural styles, Audley’s Castle, a 15th century tower house named after its owner John Audley, and a farmyard. In the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ is the Old Castle Ward better known as Winterfell, a big castle located in the centre of the North, from where House Stark
  30. 30. 30 rules over its people. Within the estate also lies Audley’s Field, where the ‘Game of Thrones’ character Robb Stark pitched his camp when he was waiting for a battle and where he first fell in love with Talisa. Downhill Beach is an 11km stretch of sand located on the Causeway Coast. This area is best know for its nature walks, sightings of bird life, waterfalls, sand dunes and the Mussenden Temple, a 18th century temple built as a summer library on the edge of the cliffs. Both the temple as the surroundings are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. The ‘Game of Thrones’ fans will recognise this location as the exterior surroundings of Dragonstone Castle. The Pollnagollum cave, Irish for ‘Hole of the doves’, is an active stream passage cave, situated in a national nature reserve in County Fermanagh. Visitors get the chance to see a natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls and winding passages. The Belmore Forest walk leads to a viewing point for the cave. The exterior of the cave was used to film Beric Dondarrion’s hideout in season three of the series. Murlough Bay is located along the Causeway Coastal Route in the Northeast of County Antrim. It is well known for its flora, fauna and geology, and its views across the ocean to Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre, Islay and various other Scottish Islands. In ‘Game of Thrones’ Murlough Bay is better known as the ‘Iron Islands’, where Theon rides on horse with his sister Yara and where Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Gosford Castle is a 19th century luxury castle and courtyard surrounded by a huge forest park and walled gardens, situated in County Armagh. National Trust describes it as “one of the most original buildings of the first half of the 19th century”. The castle was used to represent Riverrun, the former seat of House Tully and also for the interior scenes of Little Finger’s brothel in King’s Landing. Tollymore Forest Park exists out of 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains offering views over the sea. The park is an area for many outdoor activities, including walking, camping,
  31. 31. 31 horse riding and orienteering. It is in this forest that Ned Stark and his sons find the direwolf pups and where a member of the Night’s Watch runs into a White Walker. The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century and was intended to impress visitors approaching the entrance of their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Nowadays it has become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. In the series The Dark Hedges is better know as The Kingsroad, where Arya Stark escapes from King’s Landing. Ballintoy is a small village situated between the Giants Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge that looks out to Rathlin Island. It is a very picturesque place and it has got some beautiful beaches. Ballintoy’s seaside was used as a setting for Pyke, one of the Iron Islands in ‘Game of Thrones’. Pyke is the home of House Greyjoy. Larrybane is located along the North Coast close to Carrick-Rede Rope Bridge. This area is well known for its beautiful nature and fisherman cottages. Close to Larryban lies Sheep Island, a popular breeding place for birds. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans will recognise this location as Storm’s End, where for example Catelyn Stark comes to treat with Renly Baratheon, and where Brienne of Tarth is given a place in Renly’s Kingsguard. The Cushendun Caves were formed over a period of 400 million years and under extreme weather conditions. They can be found just besides the coastal village. It is here that the Melisandre gives birth to the shadow baby. Inch Abbey is located on the North bank if the Quoile River and was founded by John de Courcy. The buildings at Inch Abbey are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries. In the series Inch Abbey refers to the crossing point The Twins. Catelyn goes to bargain with Walder Frey to allow them to cross.
  32. 32. 32 3.3.3 Game of Thrones Inspired Products and Services The official visitor website for Northern Ireland has dedicated a section of their virtual space on the TV series under the title ‘Game of Thrones: Filming Locations in Northern Ireland’. Here a short list of the main filming locations with a brief explanation can be found. At the bottom they refer to self-guided ‘Game of Thrones’ tours and tours run by independent operators. Also promotion for the ‘Game of Thrones’ exhibition can be spotted on their website. If clicked it takes the visitor to a website only dedicated to ‘Game of Thrones’ and its upcoming exhibition. From the 11th to the 15th of June the ‘Game of Thrones exhibition is coming for the second time to Belfast. Marie-Therese O’Neil (2014) from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board explained: “The exhibition will focus on the storyline and events of Season 3 but there will be a few surprises from the fourth season, bringing the action right up-to-date.” The free of charge ‘Game of Thrones’ exhibition will allow fans to enter the fantasy world of Westeros and explore places like King’s Landing, climbing ‘the wall’ at the Oculus Rift virtual reality experience and enjoy over 100 original artifacts, including costumes, weapons, armour, storyboards, model dragon and of course the opportunity to get a photo taken on the Iron Throne. The official webpage, created by the Northern Ireland tourist board, about the Causeway Coast and Glens shows off with a header image dedicated to the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ (accessed on 6 May, 2014). The section ‘Explore’ is broken down into subheadings such as ‘Causeway Coastal Route’, ‘Glens of Antrim’, ‘Towns, Trails and Ancestry’ and ‘Game of Thrones – Welcome to the real Westeros’. Under the section ‘7 Great Itineraries’ a reference to the TV series can be found as well: ‘Game of Thrones Itinerary’. On this website a three day self-drive itinerary and a locations map can be downloaded as a PDF. The tour takes the visitor to many of the previous described filming locations, but the “itinerary not only brings to life the drama of the series, but also provides a front row seat at locations steeped in local myth and legend, where ancient warriors walked long before leading men.” The itinerary also includes, although no filming may have taken place, a stop at the UNESCO’s Giant’s Causeway. The tour starts from Northern Ireland’s capital city of Belfast.
  33. 33. 33 The ‘Clearsky Adventure Centre’, opened in 2006 and is based on the National Trust Castle Ward estate or better known as Winterfell for the ‘Game of Thrones’ fans. This adventure centre offers rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering, team building challenges, kayaking and canoeing amongst others. But now Clearsky also offers ‘Game of Thrones’ dedicated activities, such as film set archery sessions, self guided cycle tours and medieval lunches and BBQ. A replica of the Winterfell archery range has been recreated in Old Castle Ward’s courtyard on the very same spot where the filming took place. Visitors get the change to dress up in official ‘Game of Thrones’ costumes and shoot medieval arrows using ancient bows. They receive instructions from character costumed archery instructors and various photo opportunities will be offered. As many pivotal scenes of the series were filmed at the Castle Ward estate, Clearsky offers filming location cycle tours. They give their clients a ‘Game of Thrones Stark Sack’ which consists of two ‘Game of Thrones Stark Family costume capes, two swords and one medieval scroll filming locations map. The medieval lunches and BBQ they offer are called ‘King Robert Banquets’. McComb’s Coach Travel has been specialising in daily tours to the Giant’s Causeway for 15 years and now they have started to focus on ‘Game of Thrones’ tours as well. This limited to 30 passengers coach tour also combines the filming locations with the Causeway Coastal Route and its UNESCO’s Giant’s Causeway. Brit Movie Tours, already offering tours dedicated to film and TV series such as Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, James Bond, now also has its own ‘Game of Thrones’ tour, which is not so different from other mini coach tours dedicated to the series. Since 2013 the Belgian brewery Ommegang, located near Cooperstown, New York, has brought ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired beers on the market, with exciting names such as: Iron Throne, Take The Black Stout (inspired by the ‘Night’s Watch’) and Fire and Blood (inspired by ‘Deanerys Targaryen’ and her three dragons). In Belfast several pubs offer ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired food and drinks, such as Ned Stark’s venison burgers, Joffrey’s cheese and onion tarts, Khaleesi’s mini blood sausages and also
  34. 34. 34 cocktails: The Night’s Watch, The Tyrion Lannister Shot, The Dragon Lady, Wildfire on Blackwater bay, and so on. Out of Northern Island the luxury travel company Zicasso recently launched a week long guided tour of the show’s key filming locations in Croatia. Iceland Travel offers a four night ‘Game of Thrones – Iceland: Beyond the Wall’ tour that highlights the landscapes featured in the series such as Lake Myvatn, Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir hot spring. 3.3.4 Game of Thrones Inspired Promotion Campaign HBO is lending its name and logo to a new Tourism Ireland campaign that wants to promote Northern Ireland as a holiday destination all over the world. As a medium for the campaign Tourism Ireland has chosen for Facebook and Twitter and it is running from the second of April (2014) until early June, simultaneously with the launch of the new fourth season, in Great Britain, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. HBO is one of America’s most successful television companies whose services are available in more than 50 countries outside the United States, and their world wide hit ‘Game of Thrones’ has 14.4 million gross viewers per episode only in the U.S. The partnership between the two parties offers Tourism Ireland a unique opportunity to promote Northern Ireland to the many ‘Game of Thrones’ fans around the world. The campaign wants to use the huge global popularity of ‘Game of Thrones’ as a driving factor to make tourists head for Northern Ireland. Arlene Foster (2014) form Tourism Ireland states: “The Tourism Ireland adverts have been developed in close collaboration with HBO and are specially designed to bridge the fantasy of Game of Thrones with the reality of Northern Ireland.” Images of featured landscapes in the TV series are used in the advertising campaign with slogans, which relate to the plots, as ‘Winter Is Coming, Book Now’, ‘Explore The Realms of Men Before It’s Too Late’ or ‘A Holiday Won’t Cost You An Arm Or A Head’.
  35. 35. 35 Niall Gibbons (Tourism Ireland, 2014), CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: We are delighted to announce our partnership with HBO to highlight Northern Ireland in a completely new way on the global stage. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors, so this campaign is a major opportunity to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones fans worldwide will see these ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspire them to come and explore them for themselves. 3.3.5 Game of Thrones’ Economic Impact Since the filming of ‘Game of Thrones’, whose is now broadcasted in more than 70 countries, the biggest TV production in Europe has become very important to the Northern Irish economy. The first four seasons generated an economic benefit of £80 million, including wages for cast and crew, hotels, services and tourism and has created more than 900 full time and 5,700 part time jobs, according to Northern Ireland’s enterprise minister Arlene Foster (Addley, 2014). The Northern Ireland Screen agency, which purpose is to promote the development of film, animation and television production industry, pushed heavily to secure the choice of the producers for Northern Ireland, and not for example for Scotland. The agency provided HBO with £10.85 million production funding throughout the four series, but it seems that the investment was more than worth it (Castle, 2014). Moyra Lock (2014 cited in Addley, 2014 par.6), marketing director of Northern Ireland Screen, said: The economic impact from Game of Thrones is incredible. But it’s more than money. It’s also what it has meant in terms of added value. The programme has spawned spin-off industries in extras and post-production with opportunities for people to acquire skills in a range of key trades from carpentry and special effects to health and safety. The TV show provided work to jewellers amongst others, who were appointed to create magic symbols, crowns, brooches, pendants, etc. The Steensons Jewellers are even putting together a new line products based on their ‘Game of Thrones’ designs.
  36. 36. 36 Belfast was the only city in Ireland and the UK to host the ‘Game of Thrones’ exhibition, taking the visitors to the enchanted world of Westeros featuring 70 original artifacts. Over 18,000 fans came from as far as Australia, the Philippines and the USA. In June 2014 the exhibition will visit Belfast for a second time and probably even more fans will flock to Northern Ireland’s capital (Fennell, 2014). The Game of Thrones economic impact is also a hot topic in the newspapers, with headlines like: ‘Northern Ireland’s Westeros could be a Game of Thrones tourism goldmine’ (Irish Examiner, 2014), ‘Game of Thrones brings its magic to Northern Ireland’s economy’ (The Guardian, 2014), ‘Game of Thrones boosts Northern Ireland Tourism’ (Irish Post, 2014). Northern Ireland Screen admits that they hope that ‘Game of Thrones’ will do the same for Northern Ireland what ‘Lord of the Rings’ did for New Zealand and what ‘Wallander’ and the ‘Millenium’ trilogy still do for Sweden. With ‘Game of Thrones’ they want to wash away the dark period of The Troubles (Castle, 2014).
  37. 37. 37 3.3.6 Results Data Collection In this part the results of the research will be displayed with the intention to do so as visual as possible. All the following charts are based on the information that was gathered through surveys. The first chunk of information shows us the profile of the tourists who visit Northern Ireland. Chart 1 – Tourist Profile, Northern Ireland In this first chart, which reflects the tourist profile, only the results’ highest values are listed, this to avoid an excess of charts which would arise if each investigated aspect of the tourist’s profile would be displayed. The main motif to visit Northern Ireland is for holidays (66.66%). The options ‘convention, conference or seminar’ and ‘other business purposes’ were left blank, ‘other’ motifs are good for 33.33 percent. Half of Northern Ireland’s tourists are Europeans, followed by North Americans with 42.30 percent. Both tourists coming from South America and from Asia represent 3.84 percent. The largest age group represented among the tourists, consists of people between 35 and 49 years old (34.78%), closely followed, with 30.43 percent, by people with an age between 25 and 34. The third largest group represents, with 26.08 percent, people with an age between 50 and 64. Most tourists travel with their partner (43.47%) or with their families (26.08%),
  38. 38. 38 travelling in a group is the third most popular option (21.73%) and travelling alone is the least frequent option (8.69%). The reason why people opt for Northern Ireland, is above all, determined by its beautiful nature (31.57%) followed by the art-historical heritage, nice atmosphere and the many attractions (15.78%). The most consulted information source by the tourists is internet (44.11%). The tour operator and travel guide go in second place (14.70%) followed by friends and family (11.76%). The automobile leads the list of the most used means of transport to get to the destination with 39.13 percent, followed by plane (26.08%), coach (21.73%) and train (8.69%). Both hotels and bed and breakfasts (29.16%) are the most popular types of accommodation, with hostels on a third place (16.66%). Most of the tourists stay for a few days (65%) in Northern Ireland, 15 percent only one day, and 10% stays a week or more than a week. Tourist attractions represent the biggest expense by tourists (59.25%), followed by shopping and gastronomy (18.51%). Chart 2 – Increase in visitors since the appearance of ‘Game of Thrones’ All surveyed tourist offices (100%) stated that they have noticed an increase in visitors of 1 to 20 percent. Sixty percent of the surveyed companies, who offer for example tours dedicated to the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, say that they have observed a growth in clients of 81 to 100 percent, twenty percent has noticed an increase of 21 to 40 percent and another twenty percent an increase of 1 to 20 percent. Eighty percent of the companies who offer accommodation such as
  39. 39. 39 hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, have perceived a growth in guests of 1 to 20 percent and twenty percent states an increase of 21 to 40 percent. Chart 3 – Companies who offer Game of Thrones Activities Twenty percent of the companies who offer ‘Game of Thrones’ activities emerged as a result of the appearance of the TV series. The other 80% already existed. The majority of those companies (60%) has other activities besides their ‘Game of Thrones’ tours. Chart 4 – Game of Thrones’ influence on profits All surveyed companies who have activities dedicated to Game of Thrones haven seen their profits grow. Thirty-three percent of the analysed accommodation offering companies state that they have noticed an increase in their profits.
  40. 40. 40 Chart 5 – Peak Season Northern Ireland For the most companies, with 88.88 percent, the period of July-August-September is the busiest one, while for 11.11 percent April-May-Jun is the period of highest occupancy. Chart 6 – Game of Thrones as a promotion tool Of the surveyed accommodation offering companies 44,44 percent declared to use ‘Game of Thrones’ in promotional campaigns. Chart 7 – The Importance of Game of Thrones to visit Northern Ireland For 80% of the tourists, ‘Game of Thrones’ is just as important as other tourist attractions, while for 20 percent the TV series is secondary, the main motif is the destination in itself.
  41. 41. 41 Chart 8 – Tourist’s Level of Fanaticism: Game of Thrones It seems that tourists who participate in ‘Game of Thrones’ related activities are all real fanatics, knowing every little detail about the series. The research that has been done, shows us that tourists visiting Northern Ireland are coming mainly from Europe and North America with their partner as a travel companion and are between 35 and 49 years old. One of the main factors why they choose for Northern Ireland is its beautiful nature. Information about the destination is gathered through online sources and their favourite accommodation type is a hotel or a bed and breakfast. They mostly stay for a few days and spend their money on tourist attractions. Clearly there is a remarkable increase in the number of visitors that Northern Ireland is receiving since the appearance of the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. This growth is especially experienced by companies who offer ‘Game of Thrones’ related activities, which is logical of course, although most of them offer much more than ‘Game of Thrones’ spin off activities or already existed before the TV series first appearance. As a consequence of this increase in tourists, those companies are making more profit, agreed by all the research’s participants, but people who run hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, etc. seem to notice this increase in profits much less, although 44 percent uses ‘Game of Thrones’ to promote their business. People who have opted for Northern Ireland as their next holiday destination after watching the show ‘Game of Thrones’ seem to consider the country’s general tourist attractions just as important as the TV series, therefore it looks as if people just want to enjoy the beautiful landscapes as seen in the TV show, and the details about the fantasy world are less important. TV series can give people inspiration to go to a certain country but that doesn’t necessary imply that they also want to see the exact location of a certain scene and therefore they are also interested in other attractions the country has to offer.
  42. 42. 42 Those who choose ‘Game of Thrones’ tours and other activities are usually real die-hard fans, who know every little detail about the show. 3.4 Case Study 2: Downton Abbey ‘Downton Abbey’ is a British TV series that has been broadcasted since September 2010 on the ITV (Independent Television) television channel and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. ITV is the oldest commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom, which was launched to provide competition to the BBC. ‘Downton Abbey’ is a costume drama or period drama where costumes, sets and properties are featured in order to capture the ambience of a particular era. The TV show is set in an Edwardian country house in 1912 and portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them. The Crawleys have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772. The family lives in beautiful bedrooms with views over the park, while their servants are living just below them under the stairs. Some of the servants are loyal to the family, but others are looking out for new opportunities. The difference lies in the fact that the servants know so much of the family’s secrets, while the family knows so little about theirs. The series is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey. In the real world Highclere Castle in Hampshire is used for exterior and interior filming, although some of the bedrooms were constructed and filmed at the Ealing Studios in West London. The village of Bampton in Oxfordshire is used to film outdoor scenes. ‘Downton Abbey has been nominated for many awards and has won several Primetime Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards, and more. 3.4.1 Oxfordshire & Highclere Oxfordshire is a county in South East England with a population of 653,800 and is known for its ancient university city of Oxford, its typical English landscapes where the River Thames looks for her way through and the Cotswolds, a range of hills defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone. The area is considered as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is
  43. 43. 43 noted for its stone built villages. Cotswold also counts with a wildlife park. In the town of Woodstock Britain’s greatest palace can be found. Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is a masterpiece of 18th century baroque architecture and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. England wouldn’t be England without its gardens. In Waterperry people can visit eight acres of landscape ornamental gardens. Oxfordshire also offers a wide range of footpath networks connecting market towns and villages. Oxford is the oldest university-city in the United Kingdom and together with Cambridge it has long represented the English academic establishment and elite. Oxford is famous for its medieval churches and colleges that dominate the town. Some of its main attractions are: the Christ Church and College, a 16th century cathedral and a constituent college of the University of Oxford and a filming location for the Harry Potter films; the Radcliffe Camera, another building of Oxford’s university, which is a neo-classical academic library; the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest public museum in England, dedicated to art and archaelogy; Oxford Castle, a large partly ruined Norman medieval castle; Pitt Rivers Museum, displaying the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford. Not only has Oxford’s heritage been used in the Harry Potter films, but also in the TV series ‘Inspector Morse’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’ (Visit Oxford & Oxfordshire England, n.d.). Highclere is a village situated in the North Wessex Downs, another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the county of Hampshire. The village is most famous for its Castle, a Victorian house and setting for several films, such as ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Four Feathers’, and the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679. The current castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which was also built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for 800 years. The house was built in the Jacobethan style in the 19th century and features 1,000 acres of parkland (Highclere Castle & Gardens, n.d.).
  44. 44. 44 3.4.2 Filming Locations Bampton is a picturesque village in the Oxfordshire’s Cotswolds, located 30 km West from Oxford, with a population of only 2,505 and has been famous for its Morris Dancing traditions celebrated each month of May. The ‘Downton Abbey’ fans will recognize Bampton as the TV series’ Downton village where many dramas have been played out in the streets. Swinbrook is a tiny village located 12 km from Bampton. In this village The Swan Inn can be found. This is where lady Sybil and Branson stayed while planning their breakout in series two. In real life the Inn is owned by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, the last surviving Mitford sister. Witney is the largest of the market towns in Oxfordshire and its architecture reflects the past prosperity of the woolen trade. Close to Witney, a Victorian Farm Musuem with historic farm buildings can be found. In the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’ it is better known as the Yew Tree Farm where many farming scenes were shot. It is also home of Mr. Drewe character. Shilton is a little known picturesque village in Oxfordshire. The old forge of Shilton was transformed by the Downton Abbey’s film crew into the series’ village pub. Greys Court is a Tudor mansion with gardens near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. The mansion is now in the hands of National Trust and therefore open to the public. The name comes from an old connection to the Grey family, descendants of the Norman knight Anchetil de Greye. In ‘Downton Abbey’ Greys Court was the setting for a picnic party involving all members of the Crawley family. Highclere Castle is the main film location of the series ‘Downton Abbey’. It is here where the all the drama happens. The author, Julian Fellowes, who is a friend of the Carnarvon family, the owners of Highclere Castle, had Highclere Castle in mind while writing the series.
  45. 45. 45 3.4.3 Downton Abbey Inspired Products and Services The official visitor website for Oxfordshire has dedicated a section of their page on film tourism. When ‘What to See & Do’ is clicked, the option ‘Oxfordshire on Screen’ will appear. On that page some references are made to the films ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Golden Compass’ and the TV series ‘Inspector Morse’, ‘Midsomer Murders’ and ‘Dowton Abbey’. As for ‘Downton Abbey’ some of the main filming locations are highlighted and a ‘Downton Abbey’ map can be downloaded. The map shows Oxfordshire and where the filming locations are situated with some very brief information about each one of them. On another official tourism website called ‘’ an image of a ‘Downton Abbey’ character can be spotted in the page’s header with the heading ‘Downton Abbey film locations in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds including Bampton, which doubles as the fictional village of Downton’. In the ‘Downton Abbey’ section of the website a film location leaflet can be downloaded. The leaflet offers the visitor almost the same as the map created by the Oxfordshire website, but this leaflet contains a little bit more information and the layout work is better. International Friends is part of the GTi Travel Group and has been operating tours since 2002 specifically for overseas visitors to Britain. They offer two different day trips and one overnight tour dedicated to ‘Downton Abbey’ all departing from London. One of their day trips operates every Wednesday and Friday and visits all main filming locations except for Highclere Castle due to its very limited opening times. This explains why the other day trip, which does include Highclere Castle, is already sold out for 2014. The overnight tour is a cocktail of different themed locations. Except from ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations (not including Highclere Castle), this overnight tour also offers visits to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Bath and Oxford. International Friends offers many other tours than the ones dedicated to ‘Downton Abbey’. Brit Movie Tours offers four different ‘Downton Abbey’ tours, where two of them include a visit to Highclere Castle, but again due its very limited opening times those tours are already sold out as well. Also Brit Movie Tours has a tour of more than one day, in fact it is a three day tour. Here the ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations are combined with experiencing aspects of the Edwardian life through, for example, a journey on a real steam train. The tours depart all from
  46. 46. 46 London. Brit Movie Tours, as the name suggests, offers also tours dedicated to other series and films. Viator even offers eight different tours where the ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations are included. The tours differ in what filming locations are offered and which extras, such as Oxford or Stonehenge. They also differ in their length and in the fact that some are private tours. Great British Tours has limited the tour it offers about ‘Downton Abbey’ to the very basics and only visit Highclere Castle and Bampton. As they include Highclere Castle their tour offer is limited, nevertheless they operate daily when the castle is open. On the other hand Zicasso goes for a luxury private seven day ‘Downton Abbey’ tour. Apart from the ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations (including Highclere Castle), Zicasso takes the visitor to other early 20th century themed museums and other attractions. It can even be more expensive with NoteWorthy Events. For $12,300 USD the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon (owners of Highclere Castle) will personally greet the visitor when he arrives at the main entrance and invite him to tea and coffee served in the Countess’ morning room. The package also includes a private tour of the State Rooms and lunch in the State Dining Room, with wines chosen by the earl from his own wine cellar. It seems that ‘Downton Abbey’ fans are not only enthusiastic about the storylines and the characters, but also about the costumes. The producers became aware of this growing interest and launched a ‘Downton Abbey’ clothing collection in late 2013. The clothing line goes along with other wide ranges of new merchandise, from beauty products to furniture. Some of these things have already been available since 2012 (Karmali, 2013). The 1928 Jewelry Company has created a ‘Downton Abbey’ Jewellery Collection transforming the inspiration of the series into a contemporary brand (Downton Abbey Jewelry, n.d.). In the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, U.S., runs an exhibition (from March 1, 2014 – January 4, 2015), which exposes the costumes of ‘Downton Abbey’.
  47. 47. 47 Not only clothing lines have arisen from the TV series, it goes even further with ‘Downton Abbey’ cookbooks, such as: ‘Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals’ by Larry Edwards and ‘Abbey Cooks Entertain: 220 recipes with photos to help you entertain the Downton way’ by Pamela Foster. 3.4.4 Downton Abbey Inspired Promotion Campaign Four famous British stars have become the face of a promotion campaign to encourage the Brits to go on holiday in their home country. Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary in the TV series) is one of these stars. In the campaign she is pictured at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and Grint on Bridlington Beach in Yorkshire, dressed up in the typical ‘Downton Abbey’ costumes. The ‘Holiday at Home are Great’ advertisement shows the four celebrities encouraging the British to discover UK destinations and ends with the line: ‘No passports. No jabs. No visas. No Euros. No wonder holidays at home are so great.’ The campaign has cost £5 million what it makes the UK’s biggest tourism drive ever (Whitelocks, 2012). A promotion campaign only based on ‘Downton Abbey’ seems not to exist, although in a certain way there might be a need for it, if only it were to inform the American tourists who flock to the wrong village in search of ‘Downton Abbey’. They are actually looking for Bampton, but they end up in the unknown tiny village of Downton, near Salisbury. Here as well tourism is booming and the local pubs are acting as the unofficial tourism offices. The Bull Hotel’s landlord James Neve said that at least two tourists a week ask for them to show ‘Downton Abbey’. Many of these tourists finally come to the conclusion that they have made a mistake and that this village has nothing to do with the TV series (Carter and Dodd, 2013). 3.4.5 Downton Abbey’s Economic Impact Already in 2011 one in eight Brits have visited a British film or TV landmark, with Highclere Castle as one of the top locations. More than one in 10 Brits want to visit ‘Downton Abbey. Mark Rothery (2011 cited in The Telegraph, 2011), managing director of the CSMA (Civil
  48. 48. 48 Service Motoring Association), says: “(...) this research shows that our love of great British TV programmes and films has actually boosted the UK tourism industry.” Meredith Pearson (2012 cited in Pawlowski, 2012), spokeswoman for Visit Britain, says that: ‘Downton’ is especially good at showing visitors that there is more to Britain than just ‘Londen-centric’ landmarks. (…) ‘Downton Abbey’ is really showcasing the beauty of our countryside and quaint villages and all of the manor houses across the country. We had no idea that it would take on a life of its own. It’s just become so popular. Lady Carnarvon (2012 cited in Pawlowski, 2012), owner of the Highclere property, states that “about 50,000 people came to see the house in 2011, compared to about 30,000 who visited before the series began airing in the U.K. in fall 2010.” The tourist demand has become so great that the family, now asks to buy entrances tickets in advance and a timed ticket system has been installed to avoid having too many people inside the castle at one time. In 2013 the estimated number of visitors a day was around 1,200 in summer, including plenty of Americans and Australians. Visitors spending between £8 and £20 for a ticket, plus an extra £10 in the tearoom or gift shop, makes the till fill easily. The TV series in that way has helped to secure the future of Highclere Castle that in 2009 was facing a £11.75 million repair bill. Lord Carnarvon says that ‘Downton Abbey’ has taken off the financial pressure (Francis, 2013). The Downton effect has also led to an increase in the number of bookings for weddings (in Highclere Castle) with an average spend of £30,000. In the summer of 2012, the ‘Downton Abbey’ crew went North to the Scottish village Inveraray to film the show’s Christmas special in the Inveraray Castle. During the shooting days the crew, existing out of 150 people, booked out many local bed and breakfasts, giving a boost to the local economy during a quiet period while everyone else was watching the London Olympic Games (Tweedie, 2013). Since the appearing of ‘Donwton Abbey’ on the TV screen, house prices in Bampton have been going up. Stephen Wolfenden, director of Oxfordshire at County Homesearch, says that in the medium to long term, Bampton will become a good place to invest in property (O’Hare, 2012). But unfortunately the TV series has also a negative impact on Bampton. The home developer
  49. 49. 49 Richborough Estates wants to build 160 new homes in the village, which has a population of 3,000 people. The residents are afraid that these now houses will bring to many cars to the village, which would increase traffic and congestion. Another concern of the people of Bampton is that the development could lead to further flooding, and Bampton’s medical practice cannot accommodate any more patients. Society for the Protection of Bampton chairman Trevor Milne- Day said that if the application is approved the people of Bampton may consider demonstrating while the TV series is being filmed (Robinson, 2014). In February 2014, many American newspapers had headlines mentioning ‘Downton Abbey’: ‘U.S. face a ‘Downton Abbey’ economy’, ‘America risks becoming a Downton Abbey economy’, ‘Why the US needs tax reform to avoid a ‘Downton Abbey’ economy’. With these headlines the newspapers wanted to show that early 20th century British class divisions, as portrayed in the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’, may be closer to today’s U.S. reality than many think (Summers, 2014). Obviously the articles talk about the widening gap between America’s rich and poor. It must be said that it is striking to see that even in serious economic business articles, references to a TV show are made to reinforce a statement or to make a clarifying comparison. This demonstrates that TV series have a big impact on the many layers of our society.
  50. 50. 50 3.4.6 Results Data Collection In this part the results of the research will be exposed with the intention to do so as visual as possible. All the following charts are based on the information that was gathered through surveys. The first chunk of information shows us the profile of the tourists who visit Oxfordshire. Chart 9 – Tourist Profile, Oxfordshire In this first chart, which reflects the tourist profile, only the results’ highest values are listed, this to avoid an excess of charts which would arise if each investigated aspect of the tourist’s profile would be displayed. The number one reason to visit Oxfordshire is for holidays (62.50%), followed by ‘other’ (25%) and ‘convention, conference, seminar’ (12.50%). Most visitors are coming from Europe (50%) and North America (41.66%). The most Oxfordshire tourists have an age between 35 and 49 (30%) and between 50 and 64 (30%) followed by the age group between 65 and 74 (20%). Most of them travel with their partner (66.66%), with their family (33.33%) or in group (25.00%). The reason why people choose for Oxfordshire is defined by its art-historical heritage (33.33%), culture (16.66%) and beautiful nature (16.66%). The tourist gets his information especially from internet (45.45%) followed by friends and family (13.63%) and tour operator (13.63%). To get to
  51. 51. 51 the destination the car (83.33%) is the most popular mean of transportation. The Oxfordshire tourist prefers to stay in hotels (42.85%) followed by bed and breakfasts (28.57). Usually the visitors stay only one day (53.84%) or just a few days (38.46%) at the destination, spending their money especially on tourist attractions (36.36%) and gastronomy (18.18%). Chart 10 – Increase in visitors since the appearance of ‘Downton Abbey’ Sixty percent of the tourist offices sees an increase of 1 to 20 percent in visitors since the appearance of ‘Downton Abbey’. Twenty percent has observed a growth of 21 to 40 percent and another 20 percent of 81 to 100 percent. Half of the questioned tourism companies have noticed an increase in 41 to 60 percent and the other half says to have noticed an increase of 61 to 80 percent. All surveyed-accommodation companies have observed a growth of 1 to 20 percent in guests.
  52. 52. 52 Chart 11 – Companies who offer Downton Abbey Activities More than 30 percent of all the questioned companies who offer ‘Downton Abbey’ activities have emerged as a result of the TV series, and 33 percent of them offer only services related to the show and have no side activities or offer no other tours. Chart 12 – Downton Abbey’s influence on profits The tourist companies who offer ‘Downton Abbey’ activities seem to have noticed an increase in profits, this is said by 66.66 percent of them, but companies offering accommodation say no growth in profits has been seen. Chart 13 – Peak Season Oxfordshire For Oxfordshire it seems that the period April-May-Jun is just as busy as the period of July- August-September.
  53. 53. 53 Chart 14 – Downton Abbey as a promotion tool Half of the surveyed companies (both accommodation offering companies as tour organizing companies) use ‘Downton Abbey’ to promote their business. Chart 15 – The Importance of Downton Abbey to visit Oxfordshire Concerning the importance of ‘Downton Abbey’ to visit Oxfordshire there appears to be no remarkable difference. Chart 16 – Tourist’s Level of Fanaticism: Downton Abbey It seems that tourists who participate in ‘Downton Abbey’ related activities are all real fanatics, knowing every little detail about the series. The investigation that has been done, let us understand that tourists visiting Oxfordshire are coming principally from Europe and North America with their partner as a travel companion and are between 35 and 64 years old. One of the major points why they opt for Oxfordshire is its art- historical heritage. Data about the destination is collected through online sources and their
  54. 54. 54 favourite accommodation type is a hotel. They particularly stay only for one day and spend their money on tourist attractions. Plainly there is a growth marked in the number of tourists that Oxfordshire is receiving since the appearance of the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’. One can observe the same results as in the previously explained research about the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. The increase in visitors is in particular felt by companies who offer ‘Downton Abbey’ related activities, although most of them offer much more than that, or already existed before the TV series first appearance. As a consequence of this growth in visitors, those companies are making more profit, stated by 66.66 percent of the investigation’s participants, but people who run hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, etc. do not seem to notice this increase in profits, although 50 percent admits the use of ‘Downton Abbey’ to promote their business. For one third of the people who have visited Oxfordshire since the appearance of ‘Downton Abbey’, the TV series seems to be the only reason to visit the destination, which makes today’s Oxfordshire tourism quite reliant on the TV show. 3.5 Case Study 3: Breaking Bad ‘Breaking Bad’ is an American television series created by Vince Gilligan and produced by High Bridge Entertainment, Gran Via Productions and Sony Pictures Television. The series was released in 2008 on the American AMC (American Movie Classics) television channel. With a fifth season in 2013 the TV show came to an end. AMC forms part of AMC Networks, which is an entertainment company in the United States that owns various cable channels, a film theater in New York and an independent film company. ‘Breaking Bad’ follows the life of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and teenage son. One day Walter is diagnosed with cancer and the doctors give him only two years left to live. Through a desire to secure his family’s financial security, White chooses to make money in the criminal world of drugs by
  55. 55. 55 making his own ‘blue meth’ (methamphetamine), which has a superiour quality, what makes it very sought-after and high in price. Together with his former student and partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), White and Pinkman tumble in a dangerous word of drugs and crime, and Walter, little by little, becomes a stranger to his family. The TV series’ genre can be best described as crime drama, thriller and even black comedy, as ‘Breaking Bad’ has some comic undertones. In 2014, ‘Breaking Bad’ entered the Guinness Book of Records as the highest rated TV show of all time, which is no surprise having 243 award nominations and 95 wins, such as the Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Satellite Awards, and so on. 3.5.1 Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque is with a population of 555,417, the biggest city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The city is best known for its hot-air balloon festival, which takes place every year during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event and with its 750 balloons it is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. The fiesta is one of Albuquerque’s biggest tourist attractions and generates a major source of income for the city and local businesses (Visit Albuquerque, n.d.). In the Old Town, which both Native American and Spanish cultures have been shaping for more than 300 years, visitors can enjoy the adobe-architecture and strolling around the tiny winding streets with souvenir shops, art galleries and Native American artifact shops. For excellent views of Albuquerque and the nearby Sandia Mountains, visitors can take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway. Cable cars carry passengers three kilometers between eastern Albuquerque and the summit of the Sandia Peak. On the top, people can enjoy the view or make use of the many hiking trails. Tourists interested in early American history can visit the Petroglyph National Monument. This is a 7,236-acre park and home to more than 24,000 carved images by New Mexico’s first settlers.
  56. 56. 56 Albuquerque is also known for its Museum of Art and History and its Biological Park. The museum educates visitors on 12 billion years of natural history and has also a planetarium and a 3-D film theater to offer. The Bio Park includes Albuquerque’s aquarium, the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo and Tingle Beach (NY Daily News, 2013). 3.5.2 Filming Locations In the case of ‘Breaking Bad’ most of the filming locations are not considered as places of any tourist interest at all. Many of them are just ordinary houses of which visitors only can see the exterior, such as Walter White and his family’s house, Jesse Pinkman’s house, Gus Fring’s house, Hank and Marie’s house, and so on. But of course walking around in Albuquerque reminds the film tourist of his favourite show by which a need is satisfied. Other famous locations amongst the ‘Breaking Bad’ fans to visit, are: ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’, a chain of fast food restaurants, in real life better known as ‘Twisters’, which plays an important role in the show; the office of lawyer Saul Goodman; Gus Fring’s industrial laundry business, which actually is a methamphetamine laboratory cover up; Walter White’s money laundering ‘A1A car wash’, better known as Albuquerque’s ‘Octopus Car Wash’; Tuco’s headquarters, filmed at a bar called Java Joe’s. The only ‘Breaking Bad’ filming location that is a tourist attraction in itself is the Navajo Nation Reservation, where the desert scenes were shot. The Navajo Nation is the largest U.S. Indian tribe. The reservation counts with approximately 71,000 km2 and it exceeds the boundaries of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. It is also the home to national monuments, tribal parks, historical sites and lakes. Many of the hotels, campgrounds or authentic Indian accommodations are owned by the Navajo. The part of the Navajo Nation Reservation that lies in New Mexico is called Tohajiilee, which is the section of the park used by ‘Breaking Bad’ and it even gave its name to the 13th episode of the 5th season (Discover Navajo, n.d.). 3.5.3 Breaking Bad Inspired Products and Services New Mexico’s official website for tourism doesn’t spend much attention to ‘Breaking Bad’. They have a section on their website called ‘NM Film Trails’ dedicated to New Mexico’s role as a popular filming location and mentions some of the latest film productions who used this