ABTA - The Travel Association is predicting the top films and TV programmes broadcast over Christmas and New Year that will inspire holiday choices in time for the key booking period in January 2014.
In recent years, the travel industry has seen an increase in interest among British consumers in those destinations which feature strongly in popular TV shows and films. The Christmas season is particularly important as it falls immediately before peak booking season, when friends and family are gathered to share holiday ideas.
This year’s Christmas schedules contain a number of old favourites to inspire holiday choices. The musical Mamma Mia showcases the Greek islands, which are back as a destination favourite; The Sound of Music offers the marvellous backdrop of Salzburg and the Austrian Alps; and the mafia classic The Godfather should whet appetites for one of ABTA’s top travel tips for 2014, the Mediterranean island of Sicily.
The north of Italy is in the spotlight as adventurer Bear Grylls takes unlikely companion Stephen Fry through his paces in the dramatic Dolomite Mountains in Bear’s Wild Weekend while everyone’s favourite traveller Michael Palin is back, this time visiting the beautiful American states of Pennsylvania and Maine, in Michael Palin’s Wyeth’s World.
UK tourism is expected to benefit from the Christmas special edition of Downton Abbey, which shows England’s countryside and stately homes at their finest, along with the hotly-tipped series Death comes to Pemberley which imagines life for Jane Austen’s most famous couple Lizzie Bennet and Mr Darcy six years into their marriage. Those looking for a more rugged, outdoors experience will be delighted by the coves and beaches in Cornwall in a new version of the adventure classic, Moonfleet.
Looking a little further ahead, Scandinavia will again feature in the spotlight as BBC4 broadcasts two new series in the New Year: 1864, an epic Danish historical series and Crimes of Passion a new, nail-biting Swedish thriller.
Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Communications said: “It’s not just travel shows that inspire people’s holiday choices, any TV programme or film that showcases a destination strongly can be incredibly influential. Christmas represents a time when friends and family come together to share ideas and inspiration, often ahead of booking their holiday in January, so that makes television and film particularly influential during this time.”