Jumpers, the Faroes and TV Tourism

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Sarah Lund and one of her famous faroe jumpers

Sarah Lund and one of her famous faroe jumpers

Television programmes can be a powerful force in attracting us to visit destinations linked with those programmes. Highclere House was the backdrop in the successful “Downton Abbey” series and is expected to attracted many more tourists as a result. If that is right, the second series should bolster the appeal for some time to come. The are “Midsummer Murders” tours in Buckinghamshire with lits of demand from visiting Australian visitors as well as Brits. But it isn’t only series that benefit. One-off programmes can also benefit.

A fortnight ago, the Lake Vyrnwy estate in Mid Wales featured in just one episode of “Countryfile.” Bookings for April are now at a record. If its not the effect of the programme, it is sheer coincidence since the upsurge occurred after the programme was aired. The same happened after Lake Vyrnwy was included in” Spring Watch” in 2009. And obviously if visitors come for a reason then they also see other sites including hotels and eateries that are in the same district.

But surely none has been quite as surprising as the Danish language series, “The Killing” shown in the UK on BBC 4 and only with subtitles. This had acquired cult viewing status until it ended last weekend. When the Swedish language TV series, “Wallender” was shown, this caused an upsurge in holidays to that part of Sweden. So probably the Danish tourist board is rubbing its hands with glee at the thought of us coming to Denmark. But another place is doing very well out of it as well. The lead character in the series, Sarah Lund, seems addicted to Faroe jumpers. And so are we. Surely just as a result of this series, the knitwear company of Gudrun Gudrun in the islands has been swamped with orders from the UK. It was only when they realised that the series was being shown in the UK that they put two and two together. Each jumper costs well over £200, but that isn’t hindering sales. With the 30 or so knitters scattered across the Faroes, this traditional industry has had a massive shot in the arm. And there might be more to come. An English language series starts in the US next week and a second series will be shown in the UK later this year. A third series is in the pipeline so the Faroes look likely to profit from our interest. How long before some tour operator has guided tours as well?

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