It's not just the British film industry that will be applauding The King's Speech for winning four Oscars last Sunday. Britain's tourism industry will be celebrating, too.
For film tourism has revealed itself to be very lucrative. Who, beyond the history buffs, knew much about Alnwick Castle – let alone could pronounce its name (say Annick) – before the Harry Potter movies?Now the screen location for Hogwarts is a must-visit destination for every true Potter fan (including all those parents who like to read a bit of Rowling by torchlight beneath the bedcovers). It had a 120 per cent rise in visitor numbers after the release of the first film, which also generated £9m in tourist revenue to the area.
The Da Vinci Code increased visitor numbers to Lincoln Cathedral, and put both Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, Scotland, and Temple Church in London firmly on the tourist trail. Pride & Prejudice – the film version starring Matthew Macfayden and Keira Knightley – brought fame to Burghley House, the exquisite Elizabethan country estate in Lincolnshire.
Ruth Hudson, operations manager at Burghley House, confirms the value of an attraction becoming a film set. Filming is always great publicity and provides both national and international visitors with a new incentive to visit the house, she says. The year after Pride & Prejudice was shown, our visitor numbers rose by 42 per cent.
A report by the soon-to-be-defunct UK Film Council, confirms that locations can experience a dramatic rise in visitor numbers. And it adds: For films or TV programmes with cult status, such as Trainspotting, the tourism boost can last for years.
Source: The Independent