Cinema: How Much Influence Do Movies Have on Travel Decisions?

Travel Surveys

Is there a relationship between cinema and travel? Surely it’s a coincidence, but check this out: both the Academy Awards and Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) are celebrating their 85th anniversaries in 2013!

And a survey conducted by TCI Research estimates that 40 million international tourists in 2012 chose their travel destination based on films that they had enjoyed that were shot in that country.

Time for a Reality Check!

You know, there might just be something to this theory!

Someone once asked me why I decided to live in Hong Kong.

After thinking for a moment, I said, “When I was very young, I was taken to see a black and white movie. I believe it was ‘Love Is a Many Splendored Thing’. It made a very deep impression on me.”

I thought a bit longer.

“When I was a bit older, I was taken to see another movie,” I said.

“I believe it was ‘The Wonderful World of Suzie Wong’. It also affected me deeply. Older yet, I was taken to see ‘The Road to Hong Kong’. I’m positive about that movie. I was old enough to remember. When it was over, I said to the person that took me, ‘I want to live in Hong Kong when I grow up.’ ”

 I mean, let’s face it! Who didn’t want to visit New York after seeing “Breakfast at Tiffany”? Who didn’t want to visit Marrakesh after seeing “The Man Who Knew Too Much”?

Who didn’t want to fly down to Rio de Janeiro after watching “Flying Down to Rio”? Who didn’t want to visit the Louvre after watching the “Da Vinci Code”?

85 Films, 85 Hotels

Leading Hotels of the World has launched a website featuring 85 films and the 85 hotels that were featured in them – one for each year. 

“Hollywood writers and directors have long appreciated the mythical qualities of our member hotels, choosing them as backdrops for their films, and those films have been inspiring dreams of faraway places,” says Leading Hotels President and CEO Ted Teng.

“For more than eight decades, Leading Hotels have been enabling travelers to live those dreams. We take pride in our 85-year legacy of helping people gain insight into other cultures and offering them the opportunity to experience the authenticity of the destinations they have chosen to explore.”

Not only that. The latest edition of the Leading Hotels Directory has an icon on select hotel pages indicating that the property has been featured on the Silver Screen.


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