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The setting of the fantasy Netflix series Stranger Things has piqued the interest of fans with a desire to visit Hawkins, the fictional town in Indiana, the USA – the town where all the action takes place, leading to an increased interest in quiet American towns in general.

Although Hawkins is a fictional town, this hasn’t stopped namesake towns in the US states of Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia from taking advantage of this tourism trend.

The phenomenon is nothing new. TV shows have a noticeable influence on our purchases: series-related merchandise, clothing worn by characters on screen, and even vacation destinations. And Stranger Things is scoring in all these areas. After bringing a song from the 1980s back to the charts, the hit Netflix series has also boosted searches on hotel booking site Hotels.com. According to their data, the site saw a 12% increase in searches for the city of Hawkinsville, Georgia, when the fourth season launched on 27 May.

The fictional town of Hawkins, which is Stranger Things’ main setting, is apparently inspiring fans to indulge their curiosity and look up the location. Back in 2019, after the launch of the third season of Stranger Things, Hotels.com noted a 73% increase for the town of Hawkins in Texas. However, the booking site could not confirm an increase in bookings and prices following the success of the show and the sharp rise in searches.

Stranger Things is far from being the first series to help boost tourism in certain cities around the globe. Game of Thrones, Emily in Paris, and even La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) and Lupin are all shows whose filming locations have increased the popularity of cities and regions by putting landscapes in the spotlight on screen. In 2019, 80 million travellers had chosen a destination in connection with a film or TV series, according to a study by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conducted with the Netflix platform. A figure that doubled compared to 2014.

Another study outlined the top trending filming locations on social networks. Not surprisingly, Stranger Things came in first place.

This story was published via AFP.

(Images: Netflix)

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