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The rebound of Screen Tourism: a new TCI Research

Pékin Express study explores the profile and travel preferences of visitors influenced by screen entertainment in France.

Emilie in Paris, Arsène Lupin in Normandy, Pékin Express on the trail of the golden eagle in Uzbekistan… TCI Research, European leader in Travel Data Intelligence, explores the phenomenon of “Screen tourism” on behalf of Eccholine, the production company of “Pékin Express”. Based on its TRAVELSAT data – a reference survey endorsed by the World Tourism Organisation -, the Brussels-based institute estimates that more than 1 in 10 visitors to Europe were directly influenced in their choice of destination by films, series and TV shows in 2022. A detailed analysis carried out on France, the world’s leading destination, reveals the typical portrait of these visitors, who have returned in full force after the Covid-19 crisis.

Young and active visitors, especially among tourists from abroad

Screen Tourists visiting France are over-represented among generations Y and Z. One third of them are under 35 years old, a proportion twice as high as the average visitor. 82% of Screen Tourists are employed, with a marked over-representation of senior executives (20% compared to 15% on average). These characteristics are even more pronounced among foreign Screen Tourists, with 37% of visitors under 35 years of age and 95% working. Versatile and informed visitors who know a lot about the destination

Regarding their choice of accommodation, the study reveals that Screen Tourists are just as likely to opt for high-end experiences (28%, a score 2.5 times higher than the average visitor) as they are for local homestays (32% compared to 10% on average), a reflection of their desire to immerse themselves in the local culture and population. They are also three times more likely than the average visitor to use car-sharing services for travel. Half of those who are influenced by screen entertainment are families, while a quarter travel with friends or in an organised group, compared to 12% of the average visitor.

Apart from the influence of screen entertainment, recommendations from friends and family play a major role in 42% of Screen Tourists’ choice of a destination. They are also 2.5 times more influenced by online content on the destination and 4 times more responsive than on average to press articles. The data describes that they are highly connected and informed visitors towards destinations, multiplying the sources of inspiration for travelling both online and offline. Overall, they are 4 times more receptive to advertising than on average (and 6 times more so amongst foreign Screen Tourists!).

Exploratory and influencer behaviours

In addition to classical tourist activities (cultural visits, gastronomy, etc…), Screen Tourists participate in many immersive activities, being both outdoors and “niche”.

Screen Tourists participate on average 3 times more in niche activities (a term which includes all activities in which less than 10% of tourists participate). This thirst for discovery is even more present among Screen Tourists from abroad, who take part in 4 times more niche activities than on average – a blessing for the destinations in terms of local economic impact.

Being both explorers and potential ambassadors of the destination, Screen Tourists are distinguished by their strong capacity to influence: 4 out of 10 regularly share their travel experiences on social networks. This is twice as much as the average tourist in France.

The quality of experience in high demand

The standardised TRAVELSAT satisfaction index reveals that Screen Tourists (whether foreign or French) are generally more satisfied with their experiences than the average visitor: a major competitive advantage for maintaining a positive word-of-mouth through these highly connected and influential visitors.

70% of them say they want to revisit the destination (74% for foreigners), a score 5 points above the visitor average. The Value for Money index (particularly important in a context of inflation) was also rated higher (190 vs. 177).

Particularly favourable publicity for the filming locations of Pékin Express 2022

Based on e-Reputation scores referenced by the World Tourism Organisation Travelsat, TCI Research confirms that the show has had a very positive impact on the image of the 2022 season filming locations (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates). The polarity of social web conversations mentioning these destinations in the context of the “Pékin Express” reached a net score of 75 on a scale of -100 to +100, 16 points higher than the reference scores of these countries.


Commenting on these results, TCI Research Managing Director Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “If well managed, Screen Tourism offers destinations a very powerful channel to promote their image and economic returns. Certainly, it has its place in destinations’ marketing repertoire, alongside traditional promotion, in order to reach a segment of visitors who are highly valuable and who are natural ambassadors for the filming locations. Its proper management requires building partnerships between Tourist Offices, Film Commissions, and producers of audio-visual content so as to present destinations in their best light. It is a marketing lever capable of exploiting all the influence of screen entertainment without compromising the sustainability of the filming locations themselves.”

Kevin Koeniger, producer of “Pékin Express” and head of “Destination Marketing” at Eccholine comments on these results: “We are delighted to see that values such as the spirit of adventure, openness to others & the thirst for discovery are reflected in the results of the study. These values have been part of Eccholine’s DNA since we started in 2004, and continue to drive us forward every day. We are constantly on the lookout for new adventures, new destinations & exceptional places to show our viewers in Europe and America. It is in this context that the help of Tourist Offices, Film Commissions… is essential.”

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.