The fifth instalment in the Bourne series has begun filming in Tenerife, using Santa Cruz de Tenerife – the island’s capital – as Athens. The highly renowned thriller series, starring Matt Damon, is by no means the first Hollywood blockbuster to have used Tenerife as a filming location.
Other notable films to have used Tenerife’s striking scenery as a backdrop include Fast & Furious 6 – the 50th highest-grossing film of all time – and the Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans films, which were huge box-office successes.
The island is also a popular destination for commercial filming and stills shooting. Iconic brands such as Audi, BMW, Halifax, Lamborghini, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski – among many more – have all used Tenerife as a backdrop to their campaigns.
What draws world-leading brands and film production companies to Tenerife – one of seven islands in an isolated archipelago almost 200 miles from the African coast?
1. Exceptional and varied filming locations
In an area of just over 2,000km squared (slightly larger than Greater London), Tenerife has a huge range of potential film settings. The island has deserts, subtropical forests and volcanic areas, historic cities and avant-garde architecture, black sand beaches and breath-taking cliffs. There are two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tenerife: the Teide National Park – containing the world’s third-largest volcano – and San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a colonial city founded at the end of the fifteenth century.
2. Excellent transport links
Although its landscape and weather are unlike those found in Europe, Tenerife’s relative proximity makes it an attractive film destination. Only a two-and-a-half hour flight from Madrid and four hours from other major European cities and with the same time zone as the UK, Ireland and Portugal, it is very close to Europe.
3. Experienced professionals
Tenerife has a healthy local film industry. Whether actors, extras, producers or equipment is needed, the Tenerife Film Commission helps to connect foreign production companies with the best local talent.
4. A film-friendly island
Having welcomed many film, television and commercial production companies to the island, Tenerife’s government and residents have earned a reputation for being film-friendly. For example, a section of newly-built motorway was made available to the makers of Fast & Furious 6.
5. Consistently good weather
Tenerife’s latitude and its position in the Atlantic mean that it enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine a year (an average of eight hours and fifteen minutes a day) and average temperatures of 23°C. This makes it ideal for outdoor filming.
6. Unbeatable tax incentives
Tenerife is in the Special Canary Zone, which means that businesses pay 4% corporation tax, compared to a European average of 25%. On top of this, foreign producers can qualify for a 35% tax rebate if they invest at least €1 million in the Canary Islands and hire a local production company.
7. Brilliant accommodation and service infrastructure
Tenerife’s hotels are regarded some of the best in Europe, and it has 75,000 beds at three, four and five-star establishments.
On Wednesday November 4, Carlos Alonso, President of Tenerife, and Alberto Bernabé Teja, Councillor of Tourism and International Development, will be holding a working lunch at the Royal Automobile Club, 89 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS at 12 noon to discuss Tenerife’s huge potential with London-based film, television and commercial production companies and media.