The power of the movies was instantly recognized from the early days of the silent era. Few could imagine the influence movies and consequent TV productions such as Game of Thrones would have on every aspect of life including the travel industry.
One of the latest fantasy dramas to receive public attention is Amazon's $ 250 million, reworked mini-series of The Lord of the Rings; a veiled attempt by Jeff Bezos to grab a piece of the fantasy drama epidemic that has gripped the world for the last few years – and a direct attempt to imitate the super success of Game of Thrones.
The impact of movies and series like HBO's TV adaption of George RR Martin's book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” not only affects obvious industries; such as the music business where artists like Ed Sheeran have been catapulted into super stardom with title songs – his famously from the Hobbit movie “The Desolation of Smaug”. There are less obvious benefactors such as the travel industry whose revenues have been boosted by the latest TV series and movies.
Game of Thrones famously filmed in numerous locations around the globe from Belfast in Ireland to Osuna in Andalucía, and such locations have all seen an increase in fans visiting sites where scenes were filmed.
Increase in tourism is not only good for the towns and villages directly involved, but also for the surrounding towns and villages too.
The Andalusian tourist board are having a huge push now to entice tourists to visit and see the sites of their favorite TV series. Those in the know, of course, will be aware that series five of Game of Thrones was filmed in Osuna, Spain; a small town with a rich and diverse history dating back centuries, and is one of the many Spanish towns – including others such as Estepa and Los Corrales which are just a few kilometers away – that all provide a rich taste of rural Spain, just waiting to be sampled.
These towns ordinarily would never have been visited, unless Game of Thrones had been filmed nearby. Hostels, hotels, casa rurals and restaurants alike have all seen an increase in visitors.
Will The Lord of the Rings have the same effect on tourism? Will small rural businesses offering a real taste of local culture benefit? The reality is yes – as long as there is a desire of a loyal following of fantasy devotees, the trend to visit unblemished rural locations will continue.
Small and friendly hospitality businesses will continue to use the opportunity to introduce visitors to the real culture of their country.
With these series attracting travelers from the backpacking community, who are now more discerning and are wishing to experience the real culture of a country while on a budget, the rural vibe is gaining momentum. With five star backpacking available, devotees can experience rural Spain and get to see film locations – all at a fraction of the price of the large hotel chains.
There is no doubt that any location used in the film industry will boost the travel industry in the countries they are filmed in.