To investigate the economic impact of the Irish film industry with particular emphasis on the tourism sector
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The aim of this research study is to investigate the economic impact of the Irish film industry with particular emphasis on the tourism sector. The specific economic impacts that will be focused on in this research study are those which arise from the activities of companies and/or individuals employed in the different stages of film production in Ireland and distribution and/or exhibition of Irish made films. This research will examine the impact of film on tourism locations featured in popular Irish films and/or television series. It will investigate the characteristics of film tourism, as there is a need for a comprehensive investigation of this phenomenon within the Irish context (O’Connor, 2011). It is well established that visits to film(s) and/or television series(s) locations around the world is an emerging phenomenon and there is a growing body of tourism research which seeks to investigate the close relationships between tourism and the popular media (see O’Connor, Flanagan and Gilbert, 2010; O’Connor and Bolan, 2008; O'Connor and Kim, 2013; O’Connor & Macionis,2011). Due to a lack of literature on the topic, a two phased approach will be adopted; the first will involve gathering and analysing quantitative data regarding the economic impact of the Irish film industry with particular emphasis on the tourism sector, while the second phase will consist of tourist surveys and semi-structured interviews with the key tourism and film stakeholders behind the Irish film industry; These approaches will supplement one another and each will be successful in attaining the necessary information to satisfy the proposed research objective of identifying the economic impact of the Irish film industry with particular emphasis on the tourism sector. For the purpose of this conference paper, only the first phase will be included in the results. There are different ways which film can impact tourism the most direct being trips to specific sites where films have been shot, and also films are used for promotion (marketing tool). As there are no national figures directly related to film tourism numbers in Ireland, this study will utilise a case study approach to highlight the impact of Irish film and/or television on tourism. Films can increase visitor numbers and support investment in refurbishing and expansion at specific attractions. Film tourism has been widely discussed in academic literature as mentioned previously. While the growth of research relating to film tourism is widely accepted, film tourism for destination managers is often developed in an ad-hoc, unplanned and opportunistic way without fully understanding the phenomenon. This often, results in difficulty in managing the longer-term sustained film interests and benefiting from film tourism associated activity in destinations.
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