As TV shows can stay on the air for several years, fans of certain shows can become just as tied to the backdrop as they can to its main characters. Many TV shows have encouraged fans to get off the couch and visit their favorite locations, and they have done wonders for the tourism industry.
One interesting trend is that most shows that boost tourism seem to be crime dramas or deeply tragic and disturbing series. Breaking Bad isn’t the only show to feature gruesome deaths and depict the war on drugs that has attracted tourists to its scenic vistas, but it is a perfect example. The link between the locations and the depravity of the shows might not be correlated, but there are definitely thousands of viewers who just want to see how similar (or different) a town really is to its corresponding show.
The show’s immersive criminal underworld is one of the things Breaking Bad does so well. From all of the family businesses that end up being fronts for money laundering and making people disappear, to the obscure meth addict characters, Breaking Bad doesn’t exactly paint Albuquerque in a good light.
Nevertheless, it has done wonders for the city, as companies have capitalized on the show’s success and there are even candy stores that sell “blue crystal meth”. Thanks to the show’s well shot vistas of the desert and places that appeared in the show that have become landmarks after the fact, the city has reportedly all but become a Breaking Bad-led economy.
The Chernobyl disaster is the worst nuclear disaster in history. It is illegal to even enter Chernobyl without a guide, and with the release of Chernobyl, the historical drama that documents the disaster, there has been a huge increase in interest about visiting the site.
And the amount of visitors has grown an estimated 30%. It is the perfect example of what the travel industry calls “dark tourism.”
As if London wasn’t crowded enough, The Crown has sent fans flooding to the capital city of England. Thanks to it being one of the best shows of 2020 and shooting in some of the most scenic parts of the UK, it has also boosted tourism for Scotland, which is Queen Elizabeth II’s birthplace.
And what’s ironic is that even for the scenes of Princess Diana in New York at the end of season four, the production team turned to the North of England to save money and shot it in Manchester. Between The Crown and the Harry Potter franchise, it’s enough clout to keep London’s tourist economy booming for years.
Game Of Thrones
It might of had one of the most hated finales in history, but up until that point, Game of Thrones had fans hanging on every word of dialogue for eight years. And in that time, production had shot scenes in Croatia, Iceland, Spain, and so many more.
As Game of Thrones has one of the biggest fan bases of all time, and possibly the biggest fan base ever for a TV show, it’s no surprise that those fans wanted to literally follow in the footsteps of Jon Snow and travel to the scenic locations themselves. With the Red Keep (also known as Fort Lovrijenac) in Dubrovnik, and Arrowhead Mountain (also known as Kirkjufell) in Iceland, GoT has done wonders for the travel industry.
Big Little Lies
Silicon Valley has always had a strong presence on TV, and especially California at large, but Monterey County has seen a steep rise in tourists, as fans of Big Little Lies sought out all of the show’s filming locations.
Interestingly enough, the steep rise in tourists are mostly British travelers, and it isn’t just because of their love for Meryl Streep and the seemingly dozens of other of movie stars in the show. The British public can’t say no to a summer holiday, and with the magnificent beachside views that are terrifically on show in the HBO drama, it’s a no-brainer.
Money Heist is called La Casa De Papel in Spanish, which translates to The House of Paper, and the show has already distinguished itself as one of the best non-English shows on Netflix.
As the show destroyed Netflix’s expectations and found audiences all across the world, it has done wonders to promote Spain as a vacation destination, and it has even been awarded for doing just that. Most of Money Heist is set in Madrid, but in the time when the characters aren’t robbing banks, there are scenes that are shot in both the south and the north of Spain.
Not only has Money Heist become a benchmark for Netflix in its foreign productions, but it was Narcos that began what has seemingly become one of Netflix’s best trademarks; crime dramas based in picturesque foreign countries.
The subject matter doesn’t exactly make fans want to visit Colombia anytime soon. But, the terrain of Colombia has never looked better. The show considerably boosted Colombia’s tourism industry, almost controversially so.
Master Of None
Master Of None was the most travel-inspiring TV show of 2017, but it comes as a surprise that it isn’t New York that fans were inspired to visit.
Though the show is largely set in the Big Apple, the first couple of episodes actually see Dev in Modena, Italy, as he’s learning how to make pasta. The world famous cooking school Scuola di Cucina Girasole is based in Modena, as is the world’s second best restaurant, Osteria Francescana, which generally has a month long waiting list. These episodes made fans of the show so hungry that many of them booked trips to Italy just to try it out for themselves.
Dexter is another crime drama that surprisingly encouraged tourists to visit its filming locations. Fan enthusiasm gets as extreme as trying to break in to his beautiful Miami condo in Bay Harbour Islands.
And given that Dexter is now one of the revival shows in development, it’s likely that Miami will get another little tourism spurt in the coming years because of it.
It’s rare when anywhere besides London gets any kind of exposure in the UK, but for the past six years Peaky Blinders has been showing off the best parts of Birmingham, which led to a record number of visitors in 2019.
The show, which sees Cillian Murphy in one of his best roles and is loosely based on a real-life gang in the early 20th century, has not only helped Birmingham’s economy, but Wolverhampton, Coventry, and Dudley have all seen spikes in tourism too. The Black Country Living Museum In Dudley even holds Peaky Blinders themed evenings, which sell out within 24 hours. Locals have branded it “the Peaky effect.”