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Preliminary communication

Doc Martin and film tourism: The creation of destination image

Graham Busby orcid id ; School of Tourism and Hospitality, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK
Callum Haines ; School of Tourism and Hospitality, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK

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page 105-120

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This study investigates the relationship between film-induced tourism and the concept of destination image via a substantial primary data collection exercise, followed by content analysis of television episodes. Port Isaac, on the north coast of Cornwall, in the west of England, is the setting for the popular ITV television series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes and Caroline Catz. Television can enhance the attractiveness of an area, especially when building on images of small-scale fishing and quaint customs.
Findings showed a visitor profile fairly consistent with those of previous academic studies whilst frequency tests indicated that many respondents had clear destination images of Port Isaac prior to their visit. Consequently, content analysis of Doc Martin episodes was further undertaken; the results of which confirm there are links between images depicted in the television series and those pertaining to Port Isaac. Key features of the village are apparent in both forms of research undertaken. With primetime screening on national television, the series acts as a display window for the village and surrounding area. The research indicates the series acted as a key influence on intention to visit, not surprisingly, for British tourists. Almost 76 per cent of respondents associate Port Isaac with a specific image. The study is unusual, in film tourism research, in using two distinct forms of data to contrast the situation.


film tourism, destination image, Great Britain

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