Watching local shows puts Mzansi on people's bucket lists, says Netflix study

South African Tourism hopes the streaming giant's new Made in SA collection of films, doccies and series will fuel international tourists' wanderlust

23 September 2021 - 09:12 By Toni Jaye Singer
The Oscar-winning documentary 'My Octopus Teacher' has international viewers yearning to visit SA to explore the country's nature and wildlife, according to Netflix's Cultural Affinity Study. File photo.
The Oscar-winning documentary 'My Octopus Teacher' has international viewers yearning to visit SA to explore the country's nature and wildlife, according to Netflix's Cultural Affinity Study. File photo.
Image: Craig Foster

Hands up if you’ve ever wanted to snap a selfie in front on the famous New York fountain featured at the start of every episode of Friends? Or tour the city of lights after binge-watching the series Emily in Paris? You’re not alone.

The shows we watch have the potential to influence which places we add to our bucket lists and thus drive tourism, confirms Netflix’s Cultural Affinity Study.

The global content streaming service conducted a survey with its subscribers in Canada, Germany, the US, the UK, Brazil and France. According to the results, respondents were 3.1 times more likely to make Mzansi their top travel destination after watching SA shows.

What’s more, the type of content they streamed influenced their reasons for wanting to visit the rainbow nation.

Viewers of the drama series, Blood & Water, which is set in Cape Town, were keen to explore our country's monuments and landmarks, while those who'd streamed the comedy Seriously Single wanted to check out the local creative scene.

Nature and wildlife were the main drawcards for viewers of My Octopus Teacher, the Oscar-winning documentary that showcased the kelp forests off the Cape coast.

The Cultural Affinity Study came out of the partnership between Netflix and South African Tourism, which was established in March to find creative ways to promote the country as an attractive travel option to international tourists.

To further this goal, Netflix has launched the Made in SA content collection featuring more than 80 local films, series, documentaries and reality TV shows. It will be accessible to the streaming service's more than 209-million subscribers in more than 190 countries.


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