Gen Zers are basing their travel plans on where TV shows like ‘The White Lotus’ are set

Gen Zers are basing their travel plans on where TV shows like ‘The White Lotus’ are set
Share to friends
Listen to this article
Gen Zers are basing their travel plans on where TV shows like ‘The White Lotus’ are set
There’s been a boom in bookings for the hotels in Hawaii and Italy “The White Lotus” was filmed at.

  • Gen Zers and millennials are turning to movies and TV shows for travel inspiration in a trend dubbed set-jetting.
  • This includes a boom in bookings for the hotels in Hawaii and Italy “The White Lotus” was filmed at.
  • An American Express survey found 52% of Gen-Zers and millennial were inspired by a series or movie.

Rather than visiting a travel agency or taking out guides from the library, Gen Zers and millennials are looking to TV shows for travel inspiration.

Just over half (52%) of Gen-Z and millennial respondents said in a recent American Express survey that they’d been inspired to visit a destination after seeing it featured in a TV show or movie.

In particular, travelers have been scrambling to visit the resorts where the first two seasons of HBO’s hit “The White Lotus” were set. The two hotels — the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea in Hawaii, and the San Domenico Palace in Taormina, Italy, which is also owned by Four Seasons — have seen a surge in demand after the series was released, per a report by Bloomberg.

The series has “markedly increased interest” in the two hotels, “with both properties experiencing a significant jump in website visits and availability checks” as well as bookings, Marc Speichert, executive vice president and COO at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, told the outlet.

When season one was broadcast, web traffic to the Four Seasons Maui resort increased 425% year-over-year, Four Seasons told Bloomberg. The property in Taormina, meanwhile, is fully booked for some periods in the upcoming holiday season, Speichert told the outlet.

To visit the Taormina hotel for a week in July, many of the lower-priced options have already sold out and two-person rooms start at around $3,500 per night. For some nights in May and June, the hotel is already booked out, its website shows.

Americans are driving much of the demand for the hotel, Rebecca Masri, founder of luxury travel agency Little Emperors, told Bloomberg. Other luxury hotels in Sicily have also seen an increase in bookings “on the back of the series, even though it wasn’t shot there,” she said, and Google Trends data shows that searches for Taormina surged in late 2022 when the second series of “The White Lotus” was released.

Pop culture is driving tourists to New Zealand, Paris, and London

TV shows and movies have long helped shape tourism, but within the past decade or so this trend seems to have boomed, perhaps because of the rise of photo- and video-sharing sites like Instagram and TikTok that enable people to post about their travels.

People have visited Forks, Arizona because of the “Twilight” franchise; New Zealand has attracted “Lord of the Rings” tourists; “Harry Potter” fans have traveled to the UK; Ireland and Croatia have benefited from the release of “Game of Thrones,” and “Mamma Mia” has created a Greek-island fantasy.

The trend, dubbed “set-jetting,” is set to keep growing, with American Express and Expedia both listing it as one of the top travel trends for 2023.

“Adventure-seekers are turning to captivating TV locales for their next-big-trip inspiration,” Expedia wrote.

“Bridgerton” is driving more millennial and Gen-Z travelers to visit the historic British town of Bath, Patricia Yates, the CEO of VisitBritain, told Bloomberg. Tour guides at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, proudly point out that parts of the Regency-era show were filmed there, and Marriott Bonvoy offers private tours of Bridgerton filming locations around Greenwich. Netflix even partnered with a luxury London hotel to offer a “Bridgerton”-themed afternoon tea.

“Emily in Paris” has also sparked interest in the French capital, even as both Parisians and American expats complain that the series’ portrayal of life in the city isn’t all that accurate. Fans can take part in a dedicated walking tour and the city’s tourist office has even compiled a list of filming locations for fans to visit, including cafes, museums, and gardens. 

Read the original article on Business Insider