Film tourism: Ten ways to attract film buffs to your holiday rental

Fact: In 2012, the market research agency, Tourism Competitive Intelligence, discovered that 40 million international tourists chose their destination primarily because they saw a film shot in that region.

This year, searches for flights to Norway are up 153%, thanks to the children’s film Frozen and closer to home, everyone is talking about the fifth series of Game of Thrones, which is to be filmed on location in Andalucía

So, with all this in mind, isn’t it worth considering how to get your holiday rental in front of film buffs looking for an on-site experience?

 

Film tourism

Here’s a guide to some of the best-known films shot on location in Spain:

 

Game of Thrones (coming up)   Seville, Osuna 
 The Wine of Summer  Barcelona
 Evil Under the Sun  Balearic Islands
 Quantum of Solace  Madrid
 You Only Live Twice  Torremolinos
 The Bourne Ultimatum  Madrid
 Django  Madrid
 Dr Zhivago  Madrid
 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  The Canary Islands
 Clash of the Titans  The Canary Islands
 Krull  The Canary Islands
 The Land That Time Forgot  The Canary Islands
 Fistful of Dollars  Almeria
 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly  Almeria
 Sexy Beast  Almeria
 The Inbetweeners Movie  Magaluf

Ten ways to attract film buffs to your holiday rental!

From simple tweaks to your property description to full-on proactive seeking out of film fans. We look at ten ways you can jump on the ‘film tourism’ bandwagon and get your holiday rental in front of thousands of fans looking to live the experience.

  1. First things first: Make a list of popular movies filmed on location in your region. Wikipedia have an excellent page that lists films by region. Consider the benefits of your holiday rental location for film enthusiasts - is your holiday rental located close to where the film was shot, is there transport, are there any activities in your region based on the film?
  2. Make sure your property advertising description contains a reference to your proximity to the film location, film activities, routes and tours (offer to book these). If you have your own website create a page about the film, the scenes shot there, images of the actors on location, their favourite restaurant, etc. It’s also a good idea to add links to film reference sites and any film inspired activities or excursions in your region.
  3. Chat with local events companies about becoming a booking agent for them. See if you can secure both a discount and a link or information about your holiday rental from their website. Investigate companies who offer film routes in your local region, taking the visitor on a tour of the most famous local film scene locations. One such initiative is Barcelona Movie Walks, which offers special walking routes to see the Barcelona of Woody Allen and Pedro Almodovar and scene locations from films such as Perfume and Salvador.
  4. Use your own social channels to promote the on-site experience fans can enjoy in your local region, referencing back to your holiday rental. Make a list of social channels linked to the film: fanzine sites, official film channels, etc. and connect and share experiences. It’s important not to be too spammy with your posts on channels that aren’t your own. Don’t brazenly promote your holiday rental every day for a month. Make your posts and comments relevant to current posts from other members and build up a picture of the experience a fan can enjoy with a visit to your region. Link back to articles you have written on your own website, or invite people to private message you if they want to find out more about a visit to your local region.
  5. Check out online fan clubs. Most are free to join and you can post articles on their forum and connect with fans from around the world.
  6. If you are feeling motivated and have the time, set up a blog dedicated to the film location, and build up the visitor experience through a series of posts. The blog can link back to your holiday home website, or directly include information on accommodation in the area. If you don’t have the time to keep a blog updated (although it doesn’t have to include heaps of information), you could write an article about the film location and submit it to blogs and websites dedicated to the film, post it on your own website or connect with local tourism channels to promote the article.
  7. If your local tourist board haven’t considered the importance of ‘film tourism’, then it’s about time they did and who better to educate them, than you?! Suggest they dedicate a page for travellers wishing to visit the film location. Find out how you can get involved, with the ultimate objective of getting your accommodation recommended. 
  8. Most autonomous communities have a film commission, responsible for promoting the region as a film location and also for promoting the region to film enthusiasts. You can find your regional Spanish film commission contact details on the official Spanish Film Commission website. It’s unlikely you will be able to get a link or information published on the site, but they are a great reference for local companies working in the film industry, they provide information on destinations (perhaps here you could submit your own article) and you can follow their social channels and connect and share local experiences. If you have a really unique or special property you can usually offer your property as a film location through the regional film commission website.
  9. Get together with other local homeowners and businesses. Look at ways you can collaborate and promote the film experience in your region. Use your social networks and contacts to share information and, as we discussed, if you don’t have time to create a blog on your own, perhaps a joint effort might work? Together you could set up a Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook page for Film Accommodation i.e. Game of Thrones Accommodation in Andalucia.
  10. Create a photo gallery of film and location scenes, actors enjoying the local region, activities, etc. and couple this with visitor reviews, travellers talking about their experiences. If you have a Google Plus page you can use Google Stories really effectively to create an experience album. You can also do this on your website and on your social channels. 

 

As film tourism becomes increasingly popular, it’s absolutely worth taking the time to investigate this opportunity. It’s still a rather untapped market in terms of the promotion of accommodation around a location. Be one of the first and you’ll definitely get on the map! 

And don’t forget to let us know if you are developing a special promotion around your holiday rental, as we often get asked by our PR agencies if we can recommend holiday rentals based on a film or series location.


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