Films will inspire tourism boom to 'quirkier' countries
Friday 28 December 2007
After a year in which holidaymakers have been warned in ever bleaker terms about the environmental impact of their flights abroad, many forecasters have been predicting a gloomy 2008 for the aviation and tourist industries.
But research shows a host of extravagant, exotically located blockbusters to be released next year willintroduce British tourists to far-flung corners of the world. The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) is predicting a rush of bookings to obscure destinations featured in films due to hit the screens over the next few months.
Among the lesser-known places where fans will follow in stars' footsteps is Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory, where the film Australia is set. Starring Nicole Kidman, the film shows the devastating bombing of Darwin by the Japanese during the Second World War.
Together with The Cup, in which the former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan becomes involved in Australia's most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup, cinema screens are likely to play a major role in driving travel down under in 2008.
"Australia has always been a very popular tourist destination for British families," said David Marshall, a spokesman for Abta. "What may be slightly different about next year is that the destinations are quirkier, not just the obvious Sydney, Brisbane, or Perth. That could be because people have been inspired by something they've seen at the cinema.
"People identify very closely with the locations of their favourite films," he added. "Lavish and beautiful settings are among the most significant drivers of growth in tourism, with more people than ever before choosing to holiday somewhere simply because they've seen it at the cinema. Films are a terrific form of advertisement for regions and places that don't otherwise get much publicity.
"Over the past decade or so, one or two films have been brilliant advertisements for the country in which they were shot. The Lord of the Rings trilogy did an enormous amount for New Zealand's tourist industry, and Captain Corelli's Mandolin did more for [the Greek island] Cephalonia than anyone might have imagined."
The much-anticipated UK release of Mike Newell's Love in the Time of Cholera, the adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 1985 novel, is expected to stimulate a rush of interest in Cartagena, the exotic city seaport on the north-eastern tip of Colombia.
Another country which is not a favourite holiday destination at present but which could profit handsomely from a film release next year, is Botswana. The landlocked nation in southern Africa was the location for filming of No1 Ladies' Detective Agency, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alexander McCall Smith.
Abta also predicted an above-average number of Britons would visit France next autumn to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and also visit as Beijing, where China will host the Olympics next summer.
Despite concerns about the environmental impact of foreign travel, "our enthusiasm for overseas holidays in 2008 will not be diminished", said Justin Fleming, Abta's president.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The 50 Best European beach breaks
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...