Movies and Books That Inspired Travel Booms

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  04.17.08 | 12:23 PM ET

imageJon Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild”—and Sean Penn’s movie adaptation—have boosted tourism in parts of Alaska more than 100 percent, and the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy caused a 34 percent increase in travel to New Zealand during its run a few years back, according to a piece in the April issue of Outside by World Hum contributing editor Frank Bures. Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” also inspired travelers, drawing 57 percent more through-hikers to the Appalachian Trail in the two years after his book’s 1998 debut.

The AT could see another spike in coming years if the film version gets off the ground. Barry Levinson is leading efforts to adapt the book for the big screen, though he recently told Reelz that seasonal issues involved in filming outside could hold things up. “It’s still premature,” said Levinson. “If we do it, it will be really nice.”

3 Comments for Movies and Books That Inspired Travel Booms

Ling 04.18.08 | 8:00 AM ET

Hey, maybe state tourism authorities should commission famous writers to writebooks with plots situated in-state. Certainly be more productive than spending millions of dollars on television ads.

Marilyn Terrell 04.19.08 | 6:46 AM ET

Not a bad idea, Ling! 
Then there are state tourism boards who wish a movie had never been made in their state, like Alaska trying to figure out how to deal with the Fairbanks city bus where Chris McCandless died in “Into the Wild,” which has become an unwanted tourist attraction:

Eric 04.22.08 | 1:58 PM ET

Since seeing The Shawshank Redemption years ago, I’ve wanted to visit Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  Even though the final scene was shot in the US Virgin Islands, in my mind it’s exactly as Andy Dufresne describes it.

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