Little do we realise that the films we watch either on television or at the cinema this festive holiday season will have an influence on where we go on holiday next year. Perhaps the Balearic Ministry for Tourism, instead of ploughing extra millions of pesetas in to traditional promotional campaigns to boost tourism next year, should instead invest the money in the production of a blockbuster movie - Majorca even has its own film companies, studio and facilities capable of completing the task. The Chief Executive of the Association of British Travel Agents, Ian Reynolds says “ when Hollywood uses exotic locations, interest in those areas can soar.” At present New Zealand is enjoying a huge surge in interest on the back of The Lord of the Rings and tour operators are even organising special Lord of The Rings packages. Earlier this year Jersey saw a huge rise in demand from visitors wanting to discover the island's mystic past following the success of the Nicole Kidman film The Others, which ironically is a Spanish production, but set on the Channel Island. “The huge impact that films have on a holiday destination can not be underestimated,” says Reynolds. “Captain Corelli's Mandolin, starring Penelope Cruz and Nicolas Cage, and The Beach, starring Leonardo di Caprio, are excellent examples of this, with the Greek Islands and Thailand seeing holidaymakers flock to their shores. “Films and television programmes can be extremely effective in promoting specific destinations. This may also be why Tourism Chiefs around the world are delighted when a film director chooses to set a film in their country,” he added. The Balearic Ministry for Tourism has done little over the years to encourage film directors to come to the island. Plenty of movie stars, directors and producers holiday here, but the government could be doing more to sell the island as a blockbuster location. All the effort to date has been made by local private enterprise to overseas television production companies acting off their own initiative and depending very much on the participation and involvement of the local community. The BBC is about to show its third series of Passport to the Sun, which is all about expat life on the island and is watched by millions of viewers - all done with neither local government help nor recognition. Top quality films such as Out of Africa, The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Piano, Jewel of the Crown, to name just a few, have all influenced our holiday decisions and helped to boost their respective countries' tourist trade.


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