Image: Fabrizio Morra

APEX Insight: Feature films and TV series are inspiring audiences to take the show on the road. In this section of the multipart feature, we explore how Oscar-nominated movies are encouraging cinemagoers to make the leap from the theater seat to the airplane seat.

The week Oscar-nominated musical La La Land was released, travel booking website Lastminute.com saw interest in Los Angeles jump 21 percent over the previous week. Searches for Calcutta, where Lion partially takes place, saw a 70 percent rise on Hotels.com after it was nominated. And despite having won the Academy Award for Best Picture 40 years ago, Rocky still has a grasp over Philadelphia: The steps before its Museum of Art, which the titular character triumphantly climbs, remain one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Eight out of 10 Britons get their vacation inspiration from the silver screen.

Numbers like these are cementing the idea that cinema can be a strong marketing tool. A UK study found eight out of 10 Britons get their vacation inspiration from the silver screen and about 20 percent actually make the trip. No country knows this better than New Zealand: The Lord of the Rings movies have injected multibillions of dollars into the tourism industry, with 10 percent of visitors citing the award-winning series as the motivating factor for their visit.

Meanwhile, Discover Los Angeles, the city’s marketing organization, has developed a campaign around La La Land that invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of the film’s protagonists at landmarks such as Griffith Park, Hermosa Pier and Colorado Street Bridge. And if you felt compelled by the rugged coastlines, vacant beaches and swirling Tasman Sea featured in Lion, Tourism Tasmania shows where travelers can soak in the stunning landscapes of the Australian island state featured in the film.

“The success stories are often those that give the audience a cohesive experience.” – Erik Sellgren, Author

Not all films have this effect on tourism. Erik Sellgren, author of Film-Induced Tourism: The Effect Films Have on Destination Image Formation, Motivation and Travel Behaviour, told the BBC in 2014, “The success stories are often those that give the audience a cohesive experience – with a great story, backdrop and characters – but also bring some novelty to the table and focus quite a lot on one place or area.”

“Setting the Scene” was originally published in the 7.3 June/July issue of APEX Experience magazine.