Written by on Apr 30, 2014. Posted in On Location

Modern Family Australia episode could boost film tourism as US ratings hit

A new episode of US sitcom Modern Family that spent two weeks filming in Australia has been a ratings hit and could help boost film tourism in the country. The comedy follows the show’s extended family as they holiday in Sydney and on the Great Barrier Reef.

Qantas initiated the Australia shoot by reaching out to the producers of Modern Family in mid-2013, and the cast was flown out earlier this year. Nearly ten million Americans watched the show when it was broadcast in the US a few days ago and Qantas says there was a subsequent 25% increase in the number of US visits to its website.

The special episode will go on to deliver wide promotion for Australia around the world as the show is syndicated to nearly 30 different countries.

“This episode gives the world a glimpse of Australian hospitality and culture, which as the national carrier and the biggest private investor in Australian tourism, we are proud to help make happen,” said Qantas’ Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.

Film narratives also bring value to products and services that can be associated with the location through the story.

Joakim Lind, Branding Consultant

Added Modern Family’s Co-Creator and Executive Producer Steven Levitan: “I am sure that anyone who sees this episode will fall in love with Australia and its beauty in the same way we did.”

Film tourism is increasingly seen as an important part of promoting countries and regions internationally and by encouraging movie fans to visit the parts of the world where their favourite films and TV shows were shot.

Joakim Lind is a branding consultant with Swedish communications company Cloudberry and is specifically an expert on place branding.

“Film-induced tourism is only one direct and visible dimension of the value a film gives the location,” Lind explains: “Film narratives also bring value to products and services that can be associated with the location through the story. Place branding through the film is not only the branding of a place but also the branding of all goods, services, contexts and people that can be associated with the location.”

New Zealand is among the highest-profile and most frequently-cited examples of successful film tourism after the profile boosts delivered first by the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now the Hobbit films. The New Zealand government is also planning to capitalise on James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. On the other side of the world, Northern Ireland recently launched a major new film tourism campaign hinging on the continuing success of Game of Thrones.

“A film that for a large audience successfully tells the story of a place makes room for the location in the consciousness,” Lind adds.

(Modern Family banner: ABC; Game of Thrones photo: HBO)


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