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Interview with Carlos Rosado, President of Spain Film Commission

“Screen-induced tourism is on the rise.” Screen-induced tourism is on the rise and affects a different, younger visitor target segment with more spending power, explains Carlos Rosado, president of the Spain Film Commission, in the following interview. He also reveals that this motivates 80 million people worldwide to travel, mobilising 36.1% of international and 11.6% domestic tourists.

11 Sep 2019

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How is screen tourism evolving as a tool for promoting tourism in some regions?

The trend is for sustained growth, even beyond normal business because it is linked to two factors. There are now specific promotions for this type of tourism and also, we’re seeing exponential growth in the amount of audio-visual content available to audiences (like cinema and television drama). The more product there is, the more audio-visual content and the more promotion, the more cinema and screen-induced tourism takes centre stage.

Who is in charge of this promotion, the public or private sector?

It depends on the country. In some countries where screen tourism is more consolidated, there’s been a move away from government-sponsored promotion towards private actors. But focusing on Spain, we can see that the phenomenon hasn’t spread as strongly here yet, so there’s been an increasingly visible activity by public bodies promoting tourism, at the regional and municipal level.

Secondly, there’s been a growing interest in this phenomenon from both specialised and general interest news media, and they’re discovering shooting locations that have become well-known from hit films and TV series.

What are the most attractive places for screen tourism right now?

In Europe, the country with the strongest strategy is England and, as a consequence of Game of Thrones, Ireland, too. In other countries, too, screen tourism is already widespread, and in most US states where important series or films are shot, this resource has been exploited for many years.

And in Spain, is there a particular region that stands out?

The region where screen tourism has developed most at all levels is Andalusia because it was the first that began to analyse the phenomenon. Ten years ago, I wrote a book with my colleague from Andalucía Film Commission, Piluca Querol, about cinema and tourism as a potential new area for promotion. And as a result, the Andalusian regional government began to develop a strategy with us, which led to the design of tourist itineraries and a very popular web site (Andalucía un destino de cine - Andalusia a Film Destination), where the tourist can find out about the films and series that have been made in this region, and read explanations about the surroundings they show and interesting facts about the shooting.

How many visitors do you estimate come to a destination to see the places they have seen in movies and television series?

In surveys, 36.1% of international tourists and 11.6% of domestic tourists say they had decided to travel to a particular destination after seeing it in the cinema or on television. On the other hand, according to consultants who analyse these issues, 80 million people in the world travel for screen tourism.

What other contributions does screen tourism make to a tourism destination?

Even in places already saturated with visitors, screen-linked tourism has made a specific contribution with new tourists, with different characteristics. These are younger people, more familiar with social media, so they investigate more thoroughly other aspects of the information about the place. They are much more active, they post their opinions on social media networks, which creates a multiplier effect.

In short, screen-induced tourism is on the increase and affects a different visitor target group. They’re younger and spend more, inasmuch as they are moving away from the conventional sun-and-sand, it’s a different, more adventurous type of visitor, who is looking for a broader knowledge of the place.