AS the first series of #Poldark (BBC1) wraps up, Cornwall is likely to benefit from a boost in tourism thanks to what is being coined the Poldark effect.
More than five million viewers watched the story unfold on the box, but images of blue waters, lush countryside and craggy cliffs have proved to be the greatest seduction, sparking a huge surge in the number of people interest in a Cornish get-away. During and after each episode, Visit Cornwall’s website had a 50% increase in, er, visits.
An uplift in visitor numbers has already begun with some businesses reporting near double year-on-year figures. St Aubyn Estates Holidays manages the car park and café at Porthgwarra Cove, as well as holiday cottages in the area. Based on takings, it estimates that visitor numbers at Easter were almost double those at the same holiday weekend last year.
‘Many of our customers during the Easter period told me they had been inspired to #VisitCornwall as a direct result of watching Poldark,’ says Kerry Baillie, cottage manager for St Aubyn Estates Holidays. ‘They are visiting Porthgwarra Cove to see where Ross famously swims while watched from the clifftops by Demelza, or the location of the pilchard fishing scene where the water is so brilliantly turquoise. We envisage that once the summer arrives we will receive many new visitors to the cove.’
It's a similar story for the National Trust's Levant Mine which plays the role of the fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill in Poldark. Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site, Levant offers fans of the show a taste of Cornwall's mining heritage. Visitor numbers so far this year are by 91%.
A number of businesses are capitalizing on the Poldark effect by creating themed packages and experiences. At the luxury resort of Gwel an Mor in the coastal village Portreath, guests can sign up for a Poldark break and get a guided tour of the film locations, while Hallagenna Riding, which provided stabling and accommodation for the stunt riders and horses while filming on Bodmin Moor, has created a Poldark horse-riding Trail. Glasgow-based Caledonian Travel is offering a five-day tour of
mines and film locations.
‘Film and TV is proven to have a significant influence on holiday decision-making, so Poldark has been incredible gift to Cornwall,’ said Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall. ‘We couldn't ask for a more powerful showcase and with the second series confirmed, it can only get better.’
Still in the West Country, statistics from holidaycottages.co.uk show a substantial surge in interest in Dorset following the release in November last year of The Imitation Game, part of which was filmed in Sherborne.
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