Boosting Screen Tourism Across The UK

VisitBritain and British Film Commission sign Memorandum of Understanding to boost screen tourism across the UK

At FOCUS London today (6 December 2023), the British Film Commission and VisitBritain signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of boosting screen tourism throughout the UK’s nations and regions.

Set-jetting is a booming trend in travel. According to Expedia Group, more than half of international travellers said TV shows and films inspire their travel plans. Inbound tourists spent an estimated £892.6 million in film-related screen tourism in the UK in 2019 alone according to the British Film Institute (BFI), making screen tourism an increasingly valuable part of the UK’s global tourism offer.*

The UK film and TV industry continues to attract major international productions with its world class production offer. With first-class studios available throughout the UK’s nations and regions, cutting-edge VFX facilities, unique locations and a talented crew base, the UK has hosted many world-renowned film and TV franchises, contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy. Earlier this year, the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit reported combined spend by film and high-end television production during 2022 reached £6.27 billion. In 2022 the British Film Commission provided bespoke support to many major film and HETV titles such as Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 (Amazon), Lift (Netflix), Black Cake (Hulu), Napoleon (Apple TV+), The Crown Season 6 (Netflix), The Boys in the Boat (MGM), Fast X (Universal) and Wicked (Universal).

Film tourism offers the valuable opportunity to spotlight regional destinations to drive tourism. For example, Castle Howard in North Yorkshire reported that the number of visitors aged 18-24 to its website increased by more than 3400% after Bridgerton was released. According to the West Midlands Growth Company, Birmingham’s visitor numbers increased by 26% between 2013, when the first Peaky Blinders season aired on the BBC, and 2018. Sex Education, filmed in Wales, has encouraged a whole new audience to fall in love with the beautiful Wye Valley and Londonderry’s Tower Museum welcomed a record number of monthly visitors following the launch of an exhibition based on hit TV show Derry Girls. VisitScotland’s research shows that up to 18% of inbound visitors from its top international markets visit a film or TV location during their trips to Scotland.