RURAL tourism is set to benefit from a major new TV series.
Tourism chiefs at West Dorset District Council are working to maximise the benefits to the area from ITV1 drama Broadchurch.
Broadchurch is an ITV detective series, produced by Kudos and starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant.
The Visit Dorset tourism team has been working closely with ITV to ensure that promotional material for the series makes the most of the opportunity to support Dorset's tourism industry.
The series was filmed predominantly on the Jurassic Coast at West Bay in Dorset with the town of Clevedon just outside Bristol, England doubling as the fictional town of Broadchurch.
Dedicated Broadchurch pages have been set up on www.visit-dorset.com and the tourism team has carried out web marketing campaigns, including social media and an email campaign to 50,000 contacts.
The team has also worked with local accommodation providers to offer people the chance to win breaks in Dorset as well as exclusive props used in the filming of the series.
The first episode of the eight-part drama was screened on Monday 4 March and already the team is beginning to reap the rewards for tourism in the area.
Nearly 7m viewers saw the programme with people on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook asking where it had been filmed.
The visit-dorset.com website received a significant spike in traffic at 10pm after the programme was aired and has continued to receive a high volume of visitors, with the website ranking highly for popular search terms on search engines.
Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council said "Broadchurch represents a unique opportunity for Dorset's fantastic Jurassic coastline to gain national media coverage.
"It's promising to see that the initial response to the series is generating a large amount of interest in the area."
The Visit Dorset Tourism Team is a partnership made up of the district and borough councils from West Dorset, Christchurch, Purbeck, East Dorset and Weymouth & Portland.
The West Dorset District Council tourism team leads on the marketing of rural Dorset on behalf of the partnership.
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