Nfld. & Labrador

Doyle a boost to tourism in St. John's

Republic of Doyle has begun shooting its third season in St. John's, and while the CBC-TV series has certainly helped the local economy by employing a lot of people, it has also helped in other ways.

Republic of Doyle has begun shooting its third season in St. John's, and while the CBC-TV series has certainly helped the local economy by employing a lot of people, it has also helped in other ways.

The hit show has been a surprising tourist attraction for the city.

Take the Duke of Duckworth, for example, one of the most popular pubs in St. John's, and Jake Doyle's watering hole on the show.

Terry O'Rourke owns the Duke and he said the boost in business had been significant — especially when the cast and crew are around.

"They're actually very interested in if the actors actually do come in here, and they're quite impressed sometimes when they come in and actually see them here," he said.

"But the boys, they're very open to it too. They don't mind photographs and chatting to people. So it creates a real nice atmosphere and buzz around the place."

For one of the boys — lead actor Allan Hawco — Doyle fever goes way beyond Newfoundland and Labrador.

"That excitement and that enthusiasm has spread across the country. When I'm in Vancouver, I get stopped in the street and people are very genuine about their passion for the show," he said.

"I feel like our fans really embrace the show like it's their show. I think they say 'it's ours,' you know."

But Hawco admitted he was never expecting the kind of impact he has seen at home.

"The tourism thing is some strange spinoff that we were certainly never anticipating. That people not only from all across the country are coming to the province now because they've seen the show, but we're airing in 96 countries across the world," he said.

And Hawco takes that kind of impact to heart.

"What I feel the show does, or what we aspire to do, is make a contribution to the cultural identity of this province," he said.