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Find out how streaming is changing tourism

Today, it is common for people to subscribe to at least one streaming platform, such as Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+ and others, to keep up with current series and films. The pandemic contributed to the spread of this type of service, as cinemas, theaters and other forms of entertainment were not working, and marathoning a series on the sofa at home became a habit.

The popularization of streaming is impacting several sectors, such as advertising, which must now adapt to the new consumption model, both of products and advertisements themselves. Tourism must also keep an eye on this movement, since audiovisual productions around the world arouse the interest of viewers in visiting places that, until then, they were unaware of.

Although this was already happening, greater access to international productions made possible by platforms should increase this interest. An example is the film A Place Called Notting Hill (1999), which even after more than two decades of release, makes tourists visit the London neighborhood in search of the scenes that appear in the feature film, such as the famous blue door and the bookstore whose owner is the main character of the story.

Greater interest in traveling

Research by the World Tourism Organization in partnership with Netflix showed that those who watch content from other countries are more likely to travel to these destinations compared to those who don't. In Germany, for example, respondents who follow a Japanese production are twice as interested in visiting the country compared to those who do not.

The same study indicated that viewers who have already visited a certain country and then watch a series or film recorded there are more interested in returning to the destination. Considering the people who have already visited Spain – the country that is the setting for the series La Casa de Papel (2017) –, Netflix subscribers have a greater desire to return (93%), while 86% of those who do not follow content in Spanish have this desire .

Currently, technology has been an ally of this movement. In addition to Google being just a few taps away from knowing where a production takes place, artificial intelligence devices like Alexa can recognize the title of a series or film that was recently watched to suggest trips based on the filming location.

Around the world

Historically, North American productions have already created this desire in the public. In fact, they create the desire to visit not only tourist attractions – such as the Statue of Liberty, often destroyed in superhero films and series or in general attacks on the United States – but other places that, for those who don't know, don't know. they have “nothing much”. The case of Notting Hill itself is like this.

The apartment building of the six main characters of Friends (1994), in New York, is another example. It is a building like any other, with real inhabitants. The space is not even open for tours. Still, it attracts dozens of people every day looking for the perfect photo. Some details are even different from those shown in the sitcom – the restaurant below the building is Mediterranean, and not the iconic Central Perk.

However, the vast catalog of streaming platforms has created the desire to discover countries outside the traditional route. This is the case in South Korea, whose K-pop was already increasing interest in the country. The greater number of people watching audiovisual productions increased visibility even further. In Brazil alone, this consumption increased by 56% during the pandemic, according to the South Korean Ministry of Culture. After all, who hasn't heard about Round 6 (2021), which was among the most watched series for weeks?

Exclusive attractions

It is also common for countries and film studios to invest in experiences aimed at fans, which is an opportunity for cities that are getting on the map thanks to the latest films. To become and consolidate itself as a real tourist spot for moviegoers, it is necessary to invest in simple actions, such as maintenance, up to the development of itineraries and other attractions focused on this universe.

An ordinary bench, on the banks of one of Amsterdam's canals, became a point of interest after serving as the setting for a decisive moment in The Fault in Our Stars (2017). Now, the city hall takes care to regularly replace the equipment in order to keep it in working order for tourists looking to take a photo there. In other words, it is an opportunity to attract tourists to less popular spots.

However, the most emblematic example is perhaps Walt Disney World, in Florida, whose parks and other facilities are completely inspired by the world of Mickey Mouse and his productions – and other filming, as today the brand owns several studios. Currently, the complex attracts different types of audiences, even those who don't like animation, but everything was created thinking about the magical world created by Walt Disney.

England and Scotland attract fans of Harry Potter, whose first film was released in 2001. These tourists visit different addresses in both countries, which appear in one of the eight feature films in the saga. Furthermore, in 2012, Warner Bros released The Making Of Harry Potter, at its studio located in London. There, fans of the wizarding world can see artifacts and sets that were used during filming, enhancing the experience.

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