I’m A Celebrity Tourism Boost: The decision to film this year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity…’ in North Wales could prove a major boon for the region’s tourism industry at a crucial time, an industry expert has said.
I’m A Celebrity Tourism Boost
Dr Marcus Hansen is the Programme Leader in Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management at Wrexham Glyndŵr University. He believes the hit ITV series’ decision to relocate this year’s celebrity adventures to North Wales could help showcase the region to millions. And tourism operators could reap the benefits.
A Major Impact
He said: ‘There is no doubt that seeing areas in television series such as I’m A Celebrity can have a major impact on tourism. There is a specific term in fact, ‘film-induced tourism’, which describes the effect that this exposure can have.
‘We have seen some areas rebuild their entire tourism industry as a result of appearing on television or in film. New Zealand has a multi-billion dollar tourism industry as a result of Lord of the Rings. Dubrovnik sees thousands of tourists as a result of Game of Thrones. Additionally, The Walking Dead actually thanks ‘Visit Georgia’ in its credits for the help the tourism authorities give the series.
I’m A Celebrity…’ may only go to a British audience, but it is consistently one of ITV’s most-watched programmes. The free advertising which it will give to North Wales will be invaluable.’
Dr Hansen – like millions across the country – will be tuning in to watch this year’s launch programme on Sunday night. The changes made to this year’s show due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the relocation to Gwrych Castle in North Wales mean viewers this year will be seeing a very different show.
A Buzz Across North Wales!
He added: ‘I will definitely be watching the series this year. When they announced the plans, there was a buzz not just across North Wales, but across the border in North West England too as people realised that filming would be on their doorstep.
‘And as viewers across the UK tune in, many will want to visit North Wales to recreate the emotions and experiences they have had watching the series. That’s huge for the region. If you are a visitor attraction in Wales and a series like ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ asks if they can use your location to film, you’d be crazy to say no!
‘North Wales already has great tourism on offer – from food experiences to adventure tourism – and has really invested in developing the kind of top-range infrastructure that a modern visitor expects. If you add to that the kind of impact that a television series like ‘I’m A Celebrity…’ – with a lot of passionate followers – can have, it’s a great combination.’
Wales At The Forefront Of People’s Minds
Dr Hansen also believes that the timing of the series is significant. It screens in the run-up to the festive season and this means the region’s tourism operators will benefit with Wales fresh in people’s minds in January – a time of year when many begin making their holiday plans for the year ahead.
He said: ‘Reminding people there’s a really great place here in Britain called North Wales just as millions of people come out of lockdown is a major boost for tourism. ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ is traditionally filmed in Australia and, while many UK viewers will want to visit as a result, it will definitely be easier for them to visit Snowdonia.
‘People traditionally make holiday decisions in January and this year everything that they have seen during ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ will still be fresh in their mind.
A Real Positive
‘From the point of view of a tourism operator in North Wales, that’s a real positive. Additionally, there are some great plans for tourism in North Wales in 2021, such as the new investments at Adventure Park Snowdonia. All this can really add to our region’s offer.
‘A programme like this gives tourism operators across North Wales real hope and that is very important in what has been a difficult year for the industry.’
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About Wrexham Glyndŵr University
To find out more about Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s BSc in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Engineering, click here.
Founded in 2008, Wrexham Glyndŵr University is a young, bold and vibrant university based in north-east Wales. The university has two campuses in Wrexham, Plas Coch and Regent Street plus campuses in Northop and St Asaph. In addition, in 2017, the university won the silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework for the quality of teaching.
The university is driving academic excellence through a wide range of innovative and industry-relevant courses. Examples are Applied Science, Computing, Engineering, Creative Arts, Criminology and Psychology.
In conclusion, Wrexham Glyndŵr has been a Top 100 University in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards in 2019 and 2020. Besides this, the Campus 2025 strategy encompasses plans for new student accommodation. There will also be new car parking and upgraded facilities over the next five years.
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