BFI research shows value of set-jetting tourism

Visitors to the UK spent £864 million in film and tv-related tourism in a year, according to a report commissioned by the British Film Institute.

The report looked at the value of government tax relief across the UK’s screen industries in 2016, detailing how it creates thousands of jobs, generates record levels of inward investment, an creates additional benefits for other sectors, notably tourism.

It said films with a “strong UK story, place and culture such as Harry Potter, Paddington and Kingsman” have featured prominently in UK tourism campaigns.

Visitors to the UK spent an estimated £597.7 million in film-related tourism, generating £628.3 million in GVA (gross value added) and supporting 13,440 jobs and yielding £194.9 million in tax revenues.

The report also looked at the benefits of ‘high-end’ television (HETV) productions such as The Crown, Downton Abbey, Outlander, Poldark and Game of Thrones, which have seen major international successes.

It estimates that HETV-related tourism represented expenditure of £266.2 million in 2016, generating 5,990 jobs and £267.8 million in GVA, including £84.2 million in additional tax revenues.

Recent campaigns by VisitBritain include a partnership with Studiocanal for Paddington 2 – which featured shots of famous sights in London – and a global promotion to inspire people to book a Kingsman-inspired holiday to Britain, as Kingsman: The Golden Circle was filmed at locations across Britain.

To celebrate the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword VisitBritain launched an international film tourism campaign, and to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, the tourism agency worked with Disney to promote ‘giant’ landmarks in Britain.

It also supported Visit Guernsey’s initiatives to capitalise on the 2018 film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Home page image shows Harry Potter characters on the lawn of Alnwick Castle: VisitBritain/©Alnwick Castle