Sometimes it takes only a music video, a series or a film for a site to suddenly lose its tranquility and become flooded with fans. Media success usually influences destinations to a great extent – for better (economic benefits) or for worse (ecological damage by mass tourism). Tourism Review introduces five destinations that have become iconic travel sites thanks to media.
Chernobyl – Disaster Tourism Boosted by HBO
Trigger: The “Chernobyl” Series
Chernobyl, which had only received 70,000 visitors in 2018, is on the way to become the hype tourist destination of the moment. The reason? It is the recent mini-series “Chernobyl” of the American channel HBO, with a critical and popular success. Thirty-three years after the nuclear disaster, the curious ones are still pricked to visit the infamous Ukrainian power plant and the nearby ghost town of Prypiat. Bookings are reported to have increased by 40% since the start of the broadcast in May. Visits are available locally for about $100 per head. To say that the five episodes were not even shot on the spot, but in similar settings, in Vilnius, and in the former Lithuanian power plant of Ignalina…. Lithuania is also exploiting the opportunity by organizing its own “Chernobyl” themed tours.
Dubrovnik Confused with Port-Real
Trigger: The “Game of Thrones” Series
Dubrovnik, which receives 1.3 million visitors each year, was already overwhelmed by hundreds of cruise ships. Now the city is taken by the fans of «Game of Thrones». Season 1 had taken up residence in Malta but, following a dispute with the authorities – who criticized the production for having poured sand in a protected place, the filming then moved to the Croatian city, particularly highlighted until season 6. A part of the world now sees the “pearl of the Adriatic” as King’s Landing, the picturesque capital of the Kingdom of the Seven Kingdoms. From the old town to the fortress of Lovrijenac, dozens of theme circuits saturate the mythical places, to the great displeasure of the locals.
The Louvre, Thank You Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Quite a comeback for the already most visited museum in the world! By renting its rooms to Beyoncé and Jay-Z for the shooting of the video of their song Apeshit, the Louvre has rejuvenated its image. Since its launch in June 2018, the sublime six-minute clip has had about 180 million views. The establishment, which had already welcomed the singer Will.i.am in 2010 for his video clip Mona Lisa Smile, took the opportunity to launch a one-and-a-half-hour tour linking the 17 works featured in Apeshit, from Veronese’s Cana Wedding to Géricault’s Medusa Raft. It is probably no coincidence that in 2018, the Louvre broke all its attendance records with 10.2 million visitors (+25% over a year), helped by the surge in tourism in France and the enthusiasm for the Delacroix exhibition.
The Falls of Fjadrargljufur, Victims of Justin Bieber
Waterfalls closed to the public for several months because of… Justin Bieber! His 2015 video I’ll Show You inspired the Canadian singer’s fans so much that this spring the Icelandic Environment Agency was forced to ban visits to the magnificent Fjadrargljufur Canyon in the south of the island. This spectacular gorge, created by the erosion caused by the melting of glaciers nine thousand years ago and easily accessible from Route No. 1, has been weakened by the hordes of tourists (300,000 in 2018) combined with a particularly mild and humid winter. In his video, the hooded hat and hooded artist skateboards on volcanic sand, poses on the edge of a steep cliff and rolls around in the soft foamy carpet. “Don’t imitate him, warn the specialized sites. The ripped lichen takes hundreds of years to grow back. »
Colmar, Chinese Reality Show Star
Trigger: The Series «Chinese Restaurant»
Since filming the series «Chinese restaurant» at the Bistrot des Lavandières de la Petite Venise in June 2018, Colmar has been living in Chinese time. Fans of one of China’s most popular reality TV shows – 2.5 billion views on social networks – would not miss the selfie in front of the half-timbered restaurant and linger in the Alsatian city. In 2018, the number of overnight stays for Chinese residents jumped by 70%. Since the beginning of 2019, growth has remained double-digit. After training his hosting professionals in Chinese culture, the mayor, Gilbert Meyer, who played his own role in one of the episodes, considers that his city can still absorb more visitors from China and plans targeted promotional campaigns.