Hawaii Film Blog

Friday, July 29, 2005

Elvis Was Here

A big part of many tourists' vacations is visiting famous sites where movie and TV scenes were shot. Hawaii has a whole host of such sites, from the beach on which Burt Lancaster kissed Deborah Kerr in "From Here to Eternity" to the real "Gilligan's Island" (not the TBS reality series, but the place where the pilot of the classic show was shot) to the lagoon where Elvis sang in "Blue Hawaii." The latest addition to this list of renowned sites is the beach where the plane crashed in "Lost."

Recognizing the appeal of such sites, Movie Tours Inc. opened up nine years ago on Kauai, and now takes about 1,000 people per month on movie tours of the island. With tours ranging from about $100 to $300 per person, that's between $100,000 to $300,000 per month, which rings up to $1.2 to $3.6 million "film tourism" dollars per year being pumped into Hawaii's economy...just from a single company!

The company is one in a growing list of businesses capitalizing on the emotional draw of popular films and TV shows, not to mention the "free marketing" they offer. Last year, even the U.S. Commerce Department got in on the act, launching an integrated tourism marketing campaign in the UK with the theme, "You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit the Set."

>> Jump off the screen into reality [LA Times, 7/24/05]
>> "You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit the Set" [HFO blog, 5/17/05]

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