Has a movie ever inspired you to travel? This is not that uncommon, in fact, my friend Mark and I visited Tokyo after seeing Lost in Translation. He called me up and said, “Want to go to Japan?”
“Sure,” I said. And we were off…well, not that same day, but you get the point. Basically if I have the opportunity to go anywhere, I will. All you have to do is ask. Ask me…go ahead…I am waiting…oh, okay, I guess I’ll get on with the rest of this article.
It turns out, we are not the only ones traveling to far off lands after being inspired by a film. Nowadays, a growing vacation trend is themed trips focusing on popular books and movies such as the Harry Potter series, The Da Vinci Code and science-fiction favorites such as Star Wars. Some statistics show that thirty per cent of under 20-year-olds are likely to visit a place after seeing it on film.
There are definite areas that have seen particular success as people opt for ‘location vacations’.
- New Zealand – thanks to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings (NOT why I went there)
- New York City – It’s said to be a character of its own. And has been featured in countless films such as: Woody Allen movies, When Harry Met Sally, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Superman, Ghostbusters, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and most recently, Sex and the City which also treated it as the 5th character.
- Italy – Under the Tuscan Sun, Roman Holiday
- Thailand – The Beach (I did visit THE beach…not too shabby, but, of course now very touristy—case in point)
- London – Always a popular destination on it’s own and thanks to movies like An American Werewolf in London, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually, Notting Hill, Sliding Doors (love this movie), Bend it Like Beckham (love this too), and period films like the Elephant Man, Sweeney Todd, and Sherlock Holmes.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert from travelsupermarket said: “It’s hardly surprising that travelers are taking their inspiration from films, we’re a captive audience and the big screen often captures locations at their best. People might also look to recreate the experiences in the films.
“From bored housewife Shirley Valentine ‘discovering herself’ on a Greek Island or gorgeous period dramas with the backdrop of some of the UK’s most stunning stately homes, to fun and frolics in hits such as Mamma Mia!, or films from best-selling novels like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, when a destination gets picked to feature in a film the tourism office there should really capitalize on it.”
And locations around the world do capitalize on it. The New York ‘Sex and the City Tour’ became a huge success especially after the release of the first movie in May 2008. Just as the “Sound of Music Tour” just outside of Salzburg is still extremely popular with American and British travelers.
“Undoubtedly the modern ‘tour de force’ behind movie tourism however is Dan Brown – demand for tours in Paris and Scotland increased after the release of The Da Vinci Code, Vatican Tour requests rose by 20 per cent in the months following the release of the Angels and Demons, so we have high hopes for Washington DC, which must be hoping to revel in the same success, having been the setting for Dan Brown’s latest novel – The Last Symbol.”
With the summer movie season on the horizon, here are some films and possible ‘location vacation’ destinations for 2010:
|When in Rome|
|Sex and the City 2|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time|
|The Karate Kid|
|The Twilight Saga: Eclipse|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows|