filmingThe University of West London (UWL) is hosting a conference on Film Tourism for delegates from across the EU as part of the development of the pan-European Film Tourism route. This route aims to attract new tourists to destinations because of their links to iconic films.

The conference is sponsored by COSME; the European Commission’s programme for small business enterprise, and will take place on 23-24 June. It will assess progress made in the development of the route; a project that Dr Fidgeon has been working on with the Commission since the launch of the initiative in Brussels last November.

‘The project aims to help diversify the nature of the European tourism product,’ says Dr Fidgeon, ‘something that for so long has catered for the demands of sun, sand and sea. Today’s tourists, however, often want more from a vacation. They are often active individuals who seek to enjoy a range of different experiences. What better way to showcase a destination and provide that experience than to put the tourist in the shoes of one of their favourite movie stars. Film-induced tourism involving visiting locations where films are shot provides such an opportunity. The recent James Bond films ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’ provide classic examples. Not only did they help to market London as an exciting and vibrant tourist destination, but they also turned the MI6 building into an unlikely tourist attraction.’

The UWL conference will outline the top 10 British films of the 20-21st century based on artistic value, box office success, cinematography and social and historic value. It is from these films that key emblematic locations will be chosen that will form the basis of a route.