Mid-Island looks to cash in on film tourism

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Currently in its fourth season of production, it appears the mid-Island has become an important cast member in the television series Chesapeake Shores.

The Hallmark Channel romance series is shot on location in Parksville and the Qualicum Bay area, as well as Nanaimo.

"For us it's a cheat for New York, Baltimore, any large American city, " said series producer Matt Drake.

"We've even shot Nashville at times in Nanaimo."

As the series grows in popularity, many fans have been travelling to mid-Vancouver Island to check out the scenic locations for themselves.

"It's great to see that the fans come from all over," Drake said. "I've heard of fans coming from as far away as Florida in the U.S.… and I think that's great from a tourism standpoint."

Several mid-Island tourist organizations have also taken notice and have partnered to promote locations from the series for fans to visit.

The idea originated with the Island North Film Commission, which then collaborated with Creative BC, Tourism Vancouver Island, Tourism Nanaimo and Parksville-Qualicum Beach Tourism.

Twelve of the top locations were chosen for tours and are listed here.

"It's great because it really encourages people to travel to the region," said Tourism Vancouver Island's Denise Le Gal.

"We get exposure to millions of viewers who are seeing these TV shows and productions across multiple platforms now."