By Humphrey Carter
THE film commission Palma City Council plans to launch to help transform the island into a leading European location for film-makers will not only help the local economy, but indirectly help tourism.

Film, be they on the big-screen or on televisions, are “virtual holiday brochures” which, more than often, provides the king of global publicity a single holiday destination could never afford.

Thomson Holidays has recently carried out research in the UK that reveals films are having a significant impact on how people are chosing their holiday destination.

In fact, it appears that film locations are now becoming just as much the star of the movie as the actors who feature in them.
What is more, many Britons on holiday are quick to visit a film set or location if near their resort. I did it myself while in Tunisia where excursions are organised to the location for The English Patient and Star Wars.

Findings l 80% of Britons plans their holiday after seeing a location on the big screen. l One in five have visited the location of their favourite films. l The movie holiday scene Britons most want to visit is the cafe in which When Harry Met Sally was filmed. l 40% of Britons voted New Zealand as the top movie holiday hot spot after seeing Lord of the Rings.
Experts believe that over the next year, there is likely to be a sharp increase in demand for holidays to a number of destinations featured on the Christmas and New Year block buster movies.

Part of the Bridget Jones sequel, out next month in the UK, features the Austrian ski slopes.
The forthcoming Oceans Twelve starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney is expected to boost weekend break bookings to Berlin and Rome.
The Motorcycle Diaries is expected to increase interest in Peru, Chile and Argentina while the release of the Chronical of Narnia: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe will undoubtably boost demand for holidays to New Zealand even further and put the Czech Republic on the map.

New Zealand is already the top film holiday destination.
Second is the island of Cephalonia, the back drop for Captain Correlli's Mandolin starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.
The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, has done wonders for Thailand while Brad Pitt's Troy has sparked a sharp increase in holidaymakers heading to Malta.

Kenya is still enjoying good tourism thanks to Out of Africa.
New York and Paris remain cinema sightseers meccas because of the large number of films shot at various locations in the two cities. The film commission, which should be up and running by early next year, wants to attract 100 productions a year to the island - in the meantime, just the one blockbuster would be enough for the island's film and tourism industries to start with.


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