Travel Trend 2015: Pop Culture Tourism On The Rise

by Simona Terron

While some of us don’t need an excuse to pack up and head for the hills, others get inspired to travel by watching the exotic landscapes showcased on the screen. We round up the top destinations everyone’s heading to, supported by the films and TV shows that feature them:

1. Lord Of The Rings
Thanks to the LOTR trilogy, followed by The Hobbit series, the world got a glimpse of New Zealand’s awe-inspiring beauty. In fact, characters from the story welcome you at the Wellington Airport. You can check out over 150 spectacular locations near major landmarks, either on a self-guided adventure, or you can join one of the many organized tours that are on offer.

2. Frozen
Disney’s most successful animated film of all time, Frozen has fans flocking to Norway. Here, you can go on a hike, take the rafting waters, or traverse the land in search of snow-covered fjords and ice castles. Disney partnered with tourism promoter Innovation Norway to drive interest, and Visit even added a Frozen banner to its homepage, which resulted in traffic to the site tripling since the film’s release last year.

3. Game Of Thrones
If you want to see Westeros in real life, you might have to make several trips, as the immensely successful television show has been filmed in several stunning locations across the world such as Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Morocco and Scotland. HBO considered no less than fourteen different countries before choosing Northern Ireland as the principal filming location; no wonder it enjoys tremendous popularity with GoT fans. Visit Winterfell, Robb’s Camp in the Riverlands, and Tollymore Forest among other locations. What’s more, in Winterfell, an adventure sports company offers Stark family cloaks, gambesons, peascods and LARP swords for those who wish to truly immerse themselves in the mood of the North.

4. Jurassic World
Dino lovers are making a beeline for Costa Rica, following the buzz around the 2015 summer release, Jurassic World. Although it appears that the film was shot in the beautiful Central American country (the late Michael Crichton researched Isla del Coco and the Galapagos Archipelago while penning Jurassic Park), the truth is that all the Jurassic movies were actually filmed in Hawaii. Also known as Hollywood’s ‘Hawaii Backlot’, the main spot for these movies was Oahu’s Kualoa Ranch. Famous as the location for other classics such as Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates, and the TV series Lost, Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch that stretches from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling sea. A dense rainforest, broad open valleys, white sand beaches, verdant cliff faces—there’s so much to explore here.

These destinations promise to be exciting in more ways than one, and in all probability, they’re even more spectacular than what’s projected on the screen.

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