Holidaymakers seek silver-screen inspiration for next exotic trip

A spell at the cinema is likely to be followed by a trip to the travel agent as holiday-makers seek inspiration from the silver screen in growing numbers.

More than a quarter of Britons have opted to travel to a destination as a result of seeing a film or reading a book. In some parts of the country, such as the North-east, that rises to 43 per cent.

Young people are particularly entranced by movie sets, with as many as 45 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds insisting fiction has a major impact on their choice of holiday destination. The figure falls with age - just 26 per cent of pensioners feel the need to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood stars.

While film audiences have been galvanised to seek out locations since the Fifties, when Roman Holiday inspired a generation of Americans to head to the Italian capital, accessibility has now made it far easier.

The phenomenen has become so common that the term "set-jetter" has now been coined by researchers.

At home, the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland is one of several European locations in Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code, which have seen a boost in visitors. It attracted 68,000 visitors last year, compared with 9,500 a decade earlier. Stuart Beattie, the chapel's director, expects up to 100,000 visitors next year when the film is released. New Zealand has had a huge boost in tourism from the UK since the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was released four years ago.

The survey of 1,000 people found that 27 per cent were interested in visiting a country after being inspired by a film or book. David Rochester, of Halifax Travel Insurance, which commissioned the survey, said: "We've definitely noticed the emergence of the set-jetter ... I think that is reflected in a growing desire to visit the parts of the world [celebrities] make famous."

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