As several holiday companies start their TV advertising campaigns on Boxing Day in advance of peak booking season in January and February, many holidaymakers’ choices will be inspired by the films and TV programmes they watch over the festive period.
Frozen Planet – the Epic Journey has already prompted a surge in demand for expedition cruises to the Antarctic and Artic. The Christmas highlights show is likely to boost this trend further as will Earthflight, a documentary set in the USA that follows the path of snow geese on their journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic. Miranda Hart and Bear Grylls are trekking across the Swiss Alps in Bear’s Wild Weekend with Miranda.
Top Gear’s annual expedition sees them travel across India, showcasing the country’s major cities, culture and countryside. In Three Men Go to New England, Rory McGrath, Griff Rhys Jones and Dara O’Briain are in search of a boat for a parade celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
Parents may find themselves booking holidays to Paris, New York and Madagascar after their children watch films such as: Ratatouille, in which a rat travels to Paris to realise his dream to be the best chef in France, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, where animals escape Central Park Zoo to fly back to Madagascar.
Closer to home the Downton Abbey Christmas special is likely to increase demand for packages to visit stately and manor homes used in the popular costume drama. Harry Potter fans at home and abroad will also be inspired to visits locations such as Alnwick Castle and Gloucester Cathedral.
Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Communications says: “Film and television programmes have a huge influence on British holidaymakers’ travel plans. It is clear destinations benefit enormously when used as film locations, which is why many are delighted to be chosen.”
The cinema also has a huge influence on booking habits. Next year destinations such as New Zealand and the USA stand to benefit in particular from high profile releases on the silver screen. New Zealand’s stunning scenery will provide the backdrop to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and New York provides the setting for The Great Gatsby. A host of beatnik inspired road trips are expected following the release of On the Road, based on the Jack Kerouac novel, written about the writer’s travels and featuring San Francisco, Argentina and Chile. Meanwhile, Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance looks set to give a boost to Bulgaria and Cappodocia, Turkey.