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Silver Screen to Sandy Beaches: The Hollywood-Inspired Travel Trend

Silver Screen to Sandy Beaches: The Hollywood-Inspired Travel Trend

Silver Screen to Sandy Beaches: The Hollywood-Inspired Travel Trend

According to Booking.com Travel Trends 2024, 21% of travelers in the United States are inspired to travel to a destination from a TV show or movie. Of these, 40% are inspired to travel to participate in an activity featured in a TV show or movie.

Pristine white sand beaches, natural beauty at every turn and a personalized experience with unmatched service and exclusivity – who hasn’t recently watched a movie or television show and longed to visit the featured destination?

While the allure of exotic locales has long been a driving force behind travel, a new trend is taking hold in the era of peak TV and blockbuster franchises: set-jetting, meaning traveling to a movie or TV location.

Discerning travelers seeking increasingly unique and organized adventures are fueling the $1.5 trillion luxury travel market. With the rise of binge-watching culture, set-jetting is transforming the high-travel landscape, assuring customers trying to recreate the magic on screen.

Destinations like New York City are experiencing renewed popularity thanks to the representation of high-powered lifestyles in shows like Succession, while Paris remains a hot destination thanks to Emily in Paris.

Luxury tour operator Black Tomato sees the global jet set trend at its peak. “We receive inquiries every week from travelers who want to plan a trip specifically inspired by locations they’ve seen on screen, and the appetite to travel in this way in particular accounts for around 10% of our customer enquiries.” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of the company. Black Tomato.

The white lotus effect

One of the biggest TV hits in recent memory is The White Lotus, which has singularly won 14 Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes. After the second season premiered, UK holidays to Sicily were up 61% on the previous year, while the US saw a 90% spark in enquiries.

Marchant adds, “We saw that with The White Lotus season two and Sicily, which resonated a lot more than the first season in Hawaii. Even though both series one and two are mostly filmed within the hotel, season two is more about the destination, with central characters traveling beyond the hotel.”

Although the next season won’t air until 2025, travel companies are confident the trend will continue.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that the third season of The White Lotus is filming in Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui. Unforgettable Travel, a leading luxury travel company specializing in customized private tours, has taken advantage of this growing trend in film tourism to create a travel adventure that invites fans to immerse themselves in the world of The White Lotus.

The White Lotus themed itinerary promises an exclusive tour of Thailand inspired by the upcoming episodes. Visitors will explore iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Additionally, guests will head to Chiang Mai and embark on a sunset cruise with Four Seasons Samui – next season’s location.

Stirred, not stirred

Luxury travel company Black Tomato has joined forces with EON Productions, the team behind the iconic James Bond films, to offer Bond-inspired itineraries in 18 countries this year.

Race the River Thames in a high-value chase in The World is Not Enough, or dine at the restaurant where Bob meets Detective Aubergine in A View to Kill, Le Jules Verne’s illustrious Eiffel Tower. Dine with Carole Ashby – who played Dominique in the film – above Paris as she shares intimate anecdotes and behind-the-scenes insights.

Similarly, American Airlines launched the first commercial flight from the US to Ian Fleming International Airport (OCJ), the gateway to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, named after the author of the Bond series, aptly named AA4007.

The new route operates twice weekly from Miami on an intimate 76-passenger aircraft for a private jet-like experience that mirrors the elegance of the life of a secret agent.

Exclusive to Flight 007, Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ Love and Let Fly Package includes a complimentary Island Routes Adventure Tour to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of Laughing Waters Beach and climb the iconic Dunn’s River Falls as seen in the film Dr. No.

The Role of Reality TV

Reality TV shows like Bravo’s Below Deck are fueling a surge in yachting vacations. Craft Travel, a luxury travel company, cited a 400 percent increase in yacht travel last year. “This isn’t just a trend for the rich and single – almost half of their yacht passengers are over 45 and a quarter are under 25, making it a favorable choice for multi-generational travel.

“Unlike most vacation options, yachting offers an adventure suitable for people of all ages,” says Julia Carter, founder of Craft Travel. “Everyone can come and share the excitement of sailing the seas together, from babies to grandparents, regardless of physical ability.”

West Hollywood’s affiliation with Bravo reality shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules plays a role in the area’s near-constant barrage of tourism.

“Since these shows and their cast members have risen to superstardom, a whole new segment of travelers have come to West Hollywood to be near… {to} typical outposts like Sutton, SUR or TomTom, or others purely and simply presented as a set for scenes such as the West Hollywood Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre or The London West Hollywood hotel,” says Tom Kiely, President and CEO, West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board.

Nearby Beverly Hills recently launched the Happy Trail “Scene and Be Seen” tour. The self-guided exploration navigates guests through the city and features silver spots like Pretty Woman’s Beverly Wilshire, Rodeo Drive as seen in Beverly Hills Cop, and the Electric Fountain seen in Clueless. I Love Lucy fans can take a culinary detour at Edelweiss Chocolates, home of the famous chocolate conveyor belt scene.

Fueled by on-screen wanderlust, media-influenced plans promise new opportunities and adventure for globetrotters.

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