'Set-Jetting': The Benefits of Cultural Tourism For Travel Providers

'Set-Jetting': The Benefits of Cultural Tourism For Travel Providers

Aug.1, 2023

The phenomenon known as "set-jetting" has become a popular trend in the travel industry, with many travellers increasingly drawn to visiting the locations featured in their favorite movies and TV shows. The allure of experiencing these on-screen settings in person is heightened by the captivating storylines and intriguing drama associated with them, and film tourism has become a key marketing strategy for many travel providers around the world, to capitalise on demand for locations as a result of what's on screen, therefore maximising sales for these on-trend destinations.

Film tourism, as this form of cultural tourism inspired by the influence of film is known, has a significant impact on travel destinations. It not only shapes the way people choose their destinations and travel experiences but also influences their interactions with the places they visit, what they expect when they arrive, and their engagement with the destination and local communities, infrastructure itself.

So, what are the benefits of accommodating this type of travel as travel providers, and where are some of the best destinations to consider for this fast-growing, valuable audience?

Why Should Travel Providers Pay Attention to Film Culture and Film Tourism?

Film culture itself is undeniably impactful on today’s generations, with a proven influence over how people think, their social cognition, behavior, and even their values. 

Furthermore, film-inspired culture extends beyond entertainment and film-induced products encompass more than just consumer goods. As a rapidly expanding and significant tourism trend, film-induced tourism fosters connections between individuals, characters, locations, stories, and ultimately, tourists themselves - making it a highly successful travel trend due to its ability to offer unique experiences and immerse individuals in different cultures in a way that other travel types may not.

By providing opportunities to witness and relive exciting moments through entertainment, this form of tourism has gained immense popularity as a current trend in the industry - which makes film tourists an opportune audience for travel providers looking to maximise sales and tap into an engaged, dynamic and responsive segment in today's ever-changing market.

What Are The Benefits of Cultural Tourism For Travel Providers?

Cultural tourism is a significant catalyst for economic expansion, and film and television are among the most influential consumable products when it comes to tourism itself, and the decision-making factors that potential travellers are exposed to. Alongside other decision-making, consumable factors like being exposure to local cuisine, souvenirs, and even word-of-mouth marketing, the mediums of film and tv play a pivotal role in promoting destinations and shaping the preferences and expectations of today's consumers and travellers.

It cannot be denied that the impact of films, series, and streaming platforms on today's traveller is significant, and that therefore, the potenital influence of combining destination marketing and film or tv can be enormous.

But what does this mean for travel providers?

Films and tv productions can be a powerful way to elevate a destination’s profile, its tourism offerings both for domestic and international travellers, and can even help showcase a country’s natural assets.

For host destinations, culture tourism can help grow local economies, and for travel providers, utilising film tourism can be a hugely impactful way of informing, inspiring and influencing where travellers go.

An excellent illustration of the influence of film can be seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite being released in 2001, it is estimated that approximately 72% of current and prospective international tourists visiting New Zealand at present have watched at least one film from this famous trilogy. While, naturally, it’s impossible to say whether this was the sole factor in these travellers’ destination choices, it is nonetheless a significant motivator to consider. Similarly, in the UK, the filming of worldwide successes like Harry Potter and Downton Abbey in the past decade has resulted in a surge of tourism which remains profitable to this day.

For travel providers, it is important to recognise that travellers who are interested in film tourism demonstrate a high level of engagement with their selected location. This presents a unique opportunity for you to promote customised itineraries and highlight the destination in a way that may be overlooked, or considered unncessary by other travellers. Many film tourists won't be satisifed with a superficial look at their destination of choice! They want detail, and this is a critical factor to keep in mind when curating a clients' ideal trip.

Additionally, it is worth noting that film tourists are highly committed. For instance, let's look again at the example of the Lord of the Rings film franchise - tourism in New Zealand experienced a significant increase of approximately 50% within the ten years after the series concluded.

This data implies that individuals who are drawn to the more specialised elements of screen tourism possess a longstanding fascination with these particular destinations. Consequently, they can be considered a dependable target audience when it comes to the potential success of film-inspired destination marketing and effectively capitalising on demand.

Use The Booking Engine To Promote Popular On-Screen Destinations

Of course, it is important to consider that many screen tourists seek specific details and are often unsatisfied with a regular visit to a single filming location. Often, travellers who visit a location from a film or TV production are curious about the specific filming locations. They have a deep knowledge of the product, in this case, the film or TV show itself, and are enthusiastic about exploring this interest further.

Therefore, as travel providers you need to be equipped with a portfolio of activities that ensure that visitors to a location are encouraged to stay longer, and spend more. In many cases, guided tours can be one of the best ways to enrich a visitors’ stay! 

Fortunately, our Hotelbeds portfolio offers a vast array of hotels perfectly suited to all preferences where film tourists can rest, relax and refresh themselves for all the exploring they will do. We offer over 300,000 hotels in 195 destinations worldwide, in some of the most popular on-screen locations that your clients will love!

Combine this with the perfect in-destination activity, and even global transfer coverage for seamless navigation and enjoyment once your clients reach their location, and you've got all you need to craft the ultimate experience for travellers.

Not only this, but using our exclusive Booking Engine offers travel providers:

  • AI-powered insights influenced by real-time market data for tailored recommendations, every time.
  • Time-saving search filters to really narrow down what your customers want.
  • Integrated cross-selling features to seamlessly add in hotels, experiences and transfers, for efficient customer service!


This means that not only can you offer your customers a trip in a destination that really captivates them, but you can also enhance their experience with one-of-a-kind experiences, and a perfect hotel at the end of each day! 

Sign up today to start maximising your performance and bookings.
Log into your account to start scaling your bookings! 


So with that in mind, we deep-dive into some of the most must-visit ‘TV tourism’ destinations:

Recent On-Screen Destinations For Film Tourism Lovers

Here are just a few key destination recommendations to get your customers from in front of the screen, to behind it.
Don’t forget to take a moment to explore our portfolio, which offers exclusive access to over 300,000 hotels in over 195 worldwide destinations, including many of these inspiring locations from some of the best recent films, TV and streaming hits. 


New York

New York, being one of the most frequently filmed cities in the world, offers an array of on-screen destinations that cater to the taste of TV and film enthusiasts worldwide. From timeless movie classics to recent blockbusters, this city serves as a hub for captivating locations. Some of the iconic spots that have graced the screen countless times include Central Park, East Village, Grand Central Terminal, the Flatiron Building, Times Square, and Washington State Park.

Plus, with a wide array of stunning New York city hotels in our exclusive portfolio, we're in the perfect position to help your clients find their perfect accommodation while they explore the sights!

Alberta & Calgary, Canada - The Last Of Us

HBO's The Last Of Us, one of the biggest shows of 2023, serves as a prime illustration of the significant impact that film can have on the tourism and consumer industries. This production, the largest ever filmed in Alberta and one of the biggest in Canada, has unquestionably contributed to the rise in Canada's popularity as a sought-after destination, and this trend is expected to continue as the excitement surrounding the show continues.

Key highlights include Calgary as the real-life location of the ‘Boston Quarantine Zone’, Fort Macleod’s Main Street, Downtown Calgary, and the Alberta town of Canmore as the on-screen survivor camp in ‘Jackson.’ The best way to visit these locations is for travellers to rent a car, to truly experience the wilderness of Alberta and Calgary’s landscapes and cities.


Budapest, Hungary - Shadow and Bone

Budapest and Keszthely, located in Hungary, served as the primary shooting locations for the highly acclaimed Netflix fantasy series Shadow and Bone. Fans of the series will undoubtedly recognise iconic landmarks such as Buda Castle, The Lion's Court, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the city's Main Square. Hungary has also been the filming location for other beloved fantasy shows like Moon Knight and The Witcher, solidifying it as a dream destination for fantasy enthusiasts.

Spain and Croatia - House of the Dragon

Cáceres and Trujillo in Spain are prominently showcased in House of the Dragon as the iconic setting of 'King's Landing', and can be conveniently accessed by car from Madrid. Additionally, Croatia's capital Dubrovnik also served as the backdrop for some of the most stunning on-screen shots of 'King's Landing' in both House of the Dragon and its predecessor Game of Thrones. This captivating city is also recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site, making it a must-visit for travellers seeking an authentic dive into European history and an ideal basepoint for travellers keen to explore this on-screen destination.

Sicily, Italy - The White Lotus

The majority of filming for Netflix's The White Lotus took place in Sicily, specifically in Taormina, Noto, Palermo, and Cefalù. By visiting these on-screen locations, your customers will have the opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of southern Italy firsthand. Additionally, Taormina, which is just a couple of hours away from Sicily, can be offered as an exquisite additional destination for fans seeking to relive the enchantment of The White Lotus in a beach town with a rich history tracing back to Ancient Greece!

Bath, The UK - Bridgerton

Netflix's Bridgerton undeniably captivated millions of fans worldwide, and as one of the UK's most popular destinations, just as Downtown Abbey did before it as a similar Victorian-era serial drama hit. And as one of the UK’s most popular cities, Bath already attracts a significant number of tourists seeking to immerse themselves in the charming ambiance of this historic city. Notable on-screen landmarks featured in the series include the Holburne Museum and the Royal Crescent, which offer a glimpse into Bath at its most iconic.

But for a quintessential stay, we recommend a stay in luxurious Bath, or even nearby London, for the best of the rolling green hillsides and delightful cobbled city streets that the Somerset area has to offer ccombined with the glitz and glam of the UK's much-loved capital.


Tokyo - Alice in Borderland

Japan is not only the setting for beloved classics like Godzilla, but it has also captivated audiences with recent adaptations of popular manga such as Alice in Borderland. In addition, Japan has been showcased as one of the top destinations to visit in the world by National Geographic and Lonely Planet! Which means that now is the perfect opportunity to encourage your clients to explore all that Japan has to offer.
While the tourist-hotspot of Tokyo has more than enough to entertain travellers for months, let alone days or weeks, Tokyo is also perfectly positioned as a transport hub to many of Japan’s other must-visit locations like Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Mount Fuji! This makes it the ideal place for travellers to make the most of this stunning country.


Hauraki, Piha and Fiordland National Park - The Rings of Power

Travellers looking to be taken ‘into the wild’ and dive into the heart of the land behind The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power can venture to Fiordland National Park, the largest national park in New Zealand, or enjoy the picturesque black sand beaches of Piha, to truly feel like they’ve been transported to Middle-Earth.

But of course, one does not simply recommend New Zealand without showcasing The Shire! This idyllic locationfrom the ever-iconic original Lord of the Rings trilogy in the Waikato region is so popular that travellers can take a hobbit tour and immerse themselves in the life of a Middle-Earth Shire citizen for the day.

Sign up today to discover our Booking Engine today and begin tailoring your clients’ next experience to their perfect on-screen destination! 
Log in to your account today and begin tailoring your clients’ next experience to their perfect on-screen destination!