Film and Television Tourism: Moving Images, Moving People, Moving Experiences

Announcing the fifth Sheffield Business School Destination Marketing Symposium to be held on Wednesday 14th February 2018, Charles Street, Room 12.0.06, Sheffield Hallam University, 14.00-17.00 hours.

Symposium Theme  

The annual Destination Marketing Symposia* held at Sheffield Hallam are intended to unite theory and practice in destination marketing, and are free events aimed at students, academics and practitioners. This year’s symposium is held in memory of Dr John Heeley and his outstanding contribution to destination marketing. It examines the relationship between moving images of destinations (as seen through film, television, video/DVD/Blu-Ray and digital media) and tourist visitation. Film tourism, as this phenomenon is generally referred to, is now recognised as a major growth sector and a driver of tourism development, not least because it has significant potential for economic impact and for product differentiation. While films are available to view on an increasingly diverse range of devices, it is the effect on tourism through strong place images and the marketability of destinations, rather than the mode of viewing/form of image transmission, which continues to be of interest from a tourism perspective. The evidence for destination images being shaped through vicarious consumption of cinematic and televisual narratives relating to a wide range of genres, and for hyperreal tourism experiences at destinations following exposure, is compelling. Nevertheless, despite a growing number of film tourism studies, further research on the mechanisms which drive visitation, on visitor experiences and on localised impacts, would inform a more strategic and sustainable approach to film tourism.

Film tourism encompasses a number of activities including visits to real or substitute locations portrayed in film/television programmes, visits to studio sets or specific film/TV theme parks and themed attractions, visits to locations where filming is taking place, visits to film festivals, and participation in organised tours of film locations and homes of celebrities.  A substantial industry has developed around the opportunities presented by film tourism, and destination marketers have effectively promoted film linkages both independently and through joint initiatives between destination marketing organisations (DMOs) and film companies, including the development of dedicated film promotion agencies to secure both lucrative film contracts and the longer term benefits of favourable destination image projection. Therefore, despite representing a relatively niche element of tourism activity, there has been a significant increase in local authority, DMO and film production/promotion agency interest in film and film tourism initiatives in global terms, most notably in the UK, USA, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. This development is likely to continue, although it's unclear within the context of rapidly changing technology whether the mode of viewing will impact on visitor attachment to places through the lens of film and television.   

The 2018 symposium will examine film tourism from academic, film promotion organisation, and DMO perspectives to explore the characteristics, dimensions and importance of the phenomenon. Colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) will provide the view from academia, while the industry perspective is presented by leading executives who, drawing on their experience, will provide unique insights into the practice of promoting destinations both for film and through film. Students, academics and practitioners are welcome to attend, and places - allocated on a first come, first served basis - are free.  Please reserve your place here!

* The annual symposium was awarded the 2015 ATHE (Association for Tourism in Higher Education) 'Making the Case' Award for a Teaching Project, which is sponsored by VisitEngland http://athe.org.uk/prize-awards/

Symposium Programme

14.00-14.10:  Welcome and introduction 

Peter Schofield, Professor in Tourism and Services Management, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University

14.10-14.45: 'Film Tourism: An Academic Perspective'

Paul Fallon and David Jarrett, University of Central Lancashire.

14.45-15.20:  'Tourism and Film Agencies in Catalonia: Examples of Collaboration'

Carlota Guerrero, Manager, Catalonia Film Commission.

Click here to download the presentation.

15.20-15.55: 'Through the Lens of Screen Tourism'

Cecelia Adjei, Brand Partnership Manager, VisitBritain.


15.55-16.30: Questions from the audience and closing comments by Peter Schofield

16.30-17.00: Coffee and networking