News and notes from around the world
This month, “high-level decision-makers” convene in Hamburg, Germany, to talk film tourism, a very popular decision-maker topic ever since New Zealand struck gold with The Lord of the Rings (which bumped visitor figures there by 40 percent between 2000 and 2006). According to film tourism consultant Stefan Roesch, the most “boostery” films contain romance and adventure, and little in the way of human misery. But every rule has its exceptions (clockwise from top left):
• The 1993 World War II drama Schindler’s List brought such an influx of visitors to the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Poland, that the city turned Schindler’s factory into a museum to accommodate them.
• The 2000 dystopian youth drama The Beach is a welter of shark attacks, self-harm and gun-toting drug lords. Nevertheless, in the year after its release, the film fueled a 22 percent rise in visitors to the Thai island where it was filmed, Koh Phi Phi.
• After The Blair Witch Project came out in 1999, fans of the creepy anti-camping movie descended on Burkittsville, Md., stealing so many street signs that the town was inspired to sell replicas on eBay to make a little dough.
• Last winter’s American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has set Stockholm up for a windfall. The harrowing thriller is expected to boost tourism in the Swedish capital by 3 to 4 percent this year, bringing in hundreds of millions of euros.
• Deliverance, the notorious 1972 film set in the north Georgia woods, attracted 20,000 visitors to the area in the year after its release and helped create a $20 million rafting and outdoor sports industry along the Chattooga river.