With the premiere of much-anticipated Julia Roberts film Eat Pray Love this week, searches to India and Italy surge
The pending movie release of Liz Gilbert’s now renowned memoir Eat Pray Love has driven interest in the destinations where the film was set. Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK’s leading website for price search and comparison, predicts these destinations will continue to rise after the film is released this week on 24 September.
“Iconic movies have a significant impact on everything from food to fashion, so it’s no surprise that they impact travel as well,” says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“Spotting this trend, we’ve tracked some of the most popular movies of 2010, citing their influence on travel patterns, and we predict the release of Eat Pray Love will continue see in a rise in popularity for the destinations in which it is set,” continues Hallak.
The film has boosted an increase in searches to Rome, where Gilbert was based during her time in Italy, up 13.9%. Travellers have already been heading there in hoards to experience the mouth watering gelato at San Crispino, which the author visited three times in one day.
While Gilbert’s pasta consumption took place mainly in Rome, her favourite pizza was consumed at L’Antica in Naples, searches for which have risen by 11.2% year-on-year leading up to the film release.
With India already up by 21% year-on-year, and Italy up 11.7%, Cheapflights.co.uk predicts Bali figures will be next to surge, particularly given the increasing popularity of Eastern locations.
July 2010’s release of Karate Kid had a massive impact on searches to China’s capital Beijing, which has experienced a whopping 89.2% rise since the film release.
As part of the ‘on location’ trend, not only does the actual setting of a movie influence popularity growth, the destination in which it was actually filmed does too. The long awaited sequel Sex and the City 2, which was filmed in Morocco, but intended to be set in Abu Dhabi, had an impact on both countries with the former seeing a 10.6% rise, and the latter an 8.2% rise in searches on Cheapflights.co.uk.
Another popular influencer for travel in 2010 is the movie Invictus, which premiered in the UK in February, sending searches to South Africa up by 12.4%, and searches to Johannesburg (where the film takes place) up by a massive 46.7%, well before the World Cup even began.