In this contribution, an examination is presented of the complex ways in which an experience economy setting arose from origins in a traditional regional/national broadcasting context in a medium-sized cultural and political capital city, Cardiff in Wales. Home to the Welsh branches of the BBC and commercial TV channels, media deregulation in the1980s gave birth to an explosion of media and new media start-up firms. These formed a powerful cluster that later exerted a locational influence on the broadcasters, bringing BBC facilities (Porth Teigr Drama Village) to the former harbour district whose low rent waterfront office-space attracted such firms, as elsewhere. Quality and cost decisions led BBC UK to decentralize drama production to this centre of excellence. Among the decentralized productions was Doctor Who. Such was the impact of the new and distinctive on-location scenery of the city that a supplementary film tourism industry developed. Experience economy investment in the Doctor Who Up-Close Exhibition on the water front followed, as did spin-off experiences related to Torchwood, now a cult series filmed in Los Angeles, and the BBC’s Casualty and Gavin and Stacey, whose ‘experience’ can be visited in neighbouring South Wales harbour town Barry. An estimated €120million per year is calculated to flow into the city-region’s economy, a similar impact to that of the film tourism effect upon Ystad, where the Wallander series is set near Malmö, Sweden.
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