Shooting locales of popular dramas boost domestic tourism market
Popular TV drama The Longest Day in Chang'an, which was shot in the ancient Chinese city of Xi'an in Shaanxi province, has made the city a tourist hot spot.
Thousands of tourists have been thronging this city to experience the magnificence and grandeur of its scenic spots that have been portrayed in a fascinating manner in the TV serial.
In the first week of this month, online enquiries about flight ticket bookings to Xi'an recorded a 130-percent year-on-year spike, said Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency.
"Xi'an had been a hot tourist destination ever since the TV drama became popular. The serial portrays the prosperity of the Tang dynasty (618-907) of Xi'an. This has made the city even more popular. The media exposure makes those sites compelling choices for vacations," said Shao Jihong, senior director of flight ticketing operations at Ctrip.
It's not just Xi'an that is reaping the benefits of exposure via mass media content.
Suzhou, Chongqing and Bayanbulak Grassland have also become go-to destinations for domestic tourists as films such as Pegasus and TV dramas such as All Is Wellwere set or shot there.
This trend of Chinese tourists thronging places featured in entertainment is extending to even destinations abroad.
For instance, Japanese animation fantasy Spirited Awayhas led many viewers in China to visit Japan.
Southeastern European country Croatia has benefited from the popular Game of Thrones series. In fact, the "Game of Throneseffect" on Croatian tourism and the nation's economy has been significant, following the screening of the drama over the past eight years.
Thailand, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Iceland have shone as tourist destinations among Chinese travelers, especially the younger lot, thanks to films and TV dramas that were shot there, Ctrip found.
Those born in the 1980s account for 32 percent of Chinese travelers. Those born in the 1990s and 2000s make up for 27 percent and 13 percent, respectively, according to Ctrip.
"Young people are the main viewers of some popular shows. They pay attention to the beautiful scenery as highlighted in entertainment shows. Combined with the impact of top stars in such shows, their fans would like to go on trips to those places. Some even travel while shoots at such places are on," Shao said.
Zhao Yongfan, a 35-year-old accountant in Beijing, said he went to Chongqing in Southeast China and experienced the Yangtze River cableways and the Arhat Temple, an ancient structure surrounded by skyscrapers in the city.
"They figure in scenes in the Chinese comedy film The Crazy Stone. I love the film, so when I visited Chongqing, I made it a point to visit the spots shown in the film," he said.
SinceSpiderman－Far From Home, which featured Italy's Venice, was well received among young viewers in China, Chinese travelers may plan to visit the thousand-year-old city, market insiders said.
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