Door2Tour.com reports a recent surge in demand for breaks to the filming location of period television drama Downton Abbey has led to a shortage in availability, leaving it struggling to meet demand. The online coach holidays consolidator claims that the sudden clamour for coach trips to Highclere Castle, which took off in February and has continued throughout March, has left coach breaks to the venue so few and far between that many hopeful passengers have been turned away.
Tours for Downton Abbey first went on sale on Door2Tour
in May 2011, but sales have rapidly increased in line with the
popularity and success of the series. Such is the interest that 2012
sales have already outstripped the total sales for 2011, up 55% on the total
sales for 2011 alone.
Sales for Downton Abbey coach tours
are believed to have snowballed in line with the hit drama's recent
success at various television awards. Despite not winning any Baftas in
2011, for which it was nominated for 3, the TV series went on to scoop 4
Emmys in September for best direction, best mini-series, best writing
and best supporting actress. Its success across the pond was also sealed
by a prestigious Golden Globe award in January, followed by the coveted
Best Drama accolade at the UK National Television Awards.
Kate Glanfield, Web Manager of Door2Tour.com said: "We've had so much
demand for Downton Abbey in recent weeks that we're not able to service
all of our enquiries. We were down to the last one or two seats by the
end of March and we're still getting interest now. We're literally
turning people away."
The struggle to meet demand is fuelled as tour operators become
unsuccessful in getting tickets to the castle. With the venue only open
for limited periods between July and September and three ad hoc weeks in
the year due to other events and filming, combined with a limited daily
capacity, there are simply not enough tickets to go around. 2012 is now
fully booked, with 2013 already filling up quickly.
Downton Abbey portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants
who work for them during the early 1900s. After a highly acclaimed
Series 1 and Series 2, filming for Series 3 has already started filming
and will be broadcast in September 2012.
Kate concluded: "Usually when a tour sells out and there is
unprecedented demand it's possible to obtain more availability, which
was recently the case with Andre Rieu's concert in Maastricht, where
over 2,000 passengers ended up travelling. With Highclere Castle,
tickets are like gold dust and our suppliers are facing long waiting
lists. At the moment all we can do is add customers onto our
cancellation lists and hope that they are lucky enough to get on. The in
joke here is that it's easier to get on the Inca Trail."
Passengers wishing to book a Downton Abbey coach tour may need to wait
until later on in the year before 2013 dates become available.
Kate concluded: "Downton Abbey fans can be rest assured that there
will be more availability for the future. In the meantime, customers
can still give us a call to express interest and we'll contact them as
soon as more dates are in, or of course satisfy their Downton Abbey
cravings with Series 3."