The appeal of film tourism

Een filmset buiten in de stad New York ©
An outdoor film set in New York City ©

Did you ever visit a film location? Or saw someone on Instagram at the exact spot where your favourite show was shot? Media scholar Dr. Abby Waysdorf explains why more and more people are visiting movie locations.

Media Tourism

Visiting film locations falls under the larger heading of media tourism, an ever-growing sector within the tourism industry. Waysdorf describes media tourism as the phenomenon of tourists traveling to visit places associated with a movie, TV series, book, song or other media products. She explains: "Some tourists feel obligated to visit the commonly known attractions, but they do not feel a personal connection to these sights. When visiting a famous movie location, it's different, and for a particular reason: fandom."


"Fandom is the regular consumption of a popular film or text in which the viewer feels emotionally involved," Waysdorf explains, "and is an important part of modern identity construction." For example, belonging to a fandom causes a person to initiate and maintain social connections, thus feeling part of a group of like-minded people. Visiting a famous film location therefore brings together different members of a fandom in a place that symbolizes both the original media they are fans of and the social contact around it. Waysdorf: "At the heart of it all is connection. The way people want to connect and how they do it is personal, but the fans who do it find it a very valuable experience."

More information
Watch the full lecture here