After penning a piece asking if travel agents were making a comeback, Vogue has gifted us with another little nugget of travel insight, this time to do with TV.
Titled ‘How the Golden Age of TV Is Changing Tourism Around the World’, the piece presents all the evidence that shows just how influential television has become on travellers.
In its latest travel trends report, Tripadvisor found that one in five global ‘set-jetters’ visited a location because they saw it on the telly, Vogue revealed.
“TV viewing behaviour is the strongest predictor of entertainment-motivated tourism…television series are often watched on regular basis thus, viewers are more likely to be exposed to the destination image for a longer period,” a report from the University of North Texas found.
But what’s changed? Well, according to Vogue, this isn’t a brand new phenomenon, with people forever being drawn to places after catching them on the big screen, but now it’s the small screen making the impact.
While we once booked flights to Italy after seeing some gorgeous Hollywood siren being seduced by an equally gorgeous man, now it’s all Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, and Narcos that are providing the travel inspo.
Take Scotland, for example. With previous tourism boons coming from the likes of Harry Potter or Braveheart, now Chief Executive of VisitScotland, Malcolm Roughead, said it’s all about Outlander now.
“In past research it is always Braveheart, Harry Potter, or even the Da Vinci Code which was mentioned. . . but in recent times it is Outlander which is referenced above all others,” he said recently.
Organic traffic to the Outlander page on visitscotland.com has risen 15 per cent in the past 12 months, while Doune Castle – which doubles as Castle Leoch in the popular show – has had an unprecedented 91.8 per cent increase in visitors.
Then, Vogue continued, there’s the latest TV sensation, Big Little Lies, which has seen its setting of Monterey, California, receive plenty of new interest.
“There’s no doubt that Monterey County was an uncredited star of the show, and as a result, we’ve certainly received a huge bump in folks talking about our destination as well as interest in visiting,” Rob O’Keefe, Chief Marketing Officer at the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Vogue.
And of course, Game of Thrones has had its mammoth impact on the once-struggling tourism hub, Iceland.
Vogue writes that the country has seen a 386 per cent growth in tourism from 2010 to 2018, thanks in large part to the iconic TV series.
The same show has also seen tourism spikes in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the setting for Kings Landing. However Croatia has its own thoughts on the massive increases in tourist visitation, considering restrictions and fees in order to sustain its city against waves of foot traffic.
So where are you headed to next, based on your Netflix viewing history?