If watching the “Wonder Woman” movie or the immensely popular “Game of Thrones” television series makes you long to visit Diana’s home on mythical Themyscira or find King’s Landing, the capital of fictional Westoros, you’re not alone. Heading to filming sites is nothing new for fans and vacationers, of course, but in recent years it’s become more popular than ever.
This spring, the travel booking site Orbitz.com launched a free interactive online map called “Discover the World On Screen” (www.orbitz.com/features/world-on-screen/map/). Click on a location or search out a movie or television show you are interested in and find everything from a recap of the show, recommendations for where to stay and eat, how to get around, and specific directions for filming locations. You can filter the map by movie or television genre, such as adventure or comedy, as well as by type of vacation you’d like to take, such as a beach holiday or a road trip.
Ramses Meijer, interim general manager at Orbitz.com, explained how and why the travel company decided to build the site and what people can expect from it.
Q. Why create this now?
A. Traveling to filming locations of our favorite films and TV programs has never been as popular. Since “The Lord of the Rings” boosted New Zealand’s film tourism profile into the stratosphere, entertainment-themed travel has gone from strength to strength. Today, travelers are just as likely to factor in filming locations as they are the quality of hotels and facilities, so we felt the time was just right to create our interactive map.
Q. How did you pick the movie/television sites to be highlighted?
A. Because we’re a travel company with a global reach, we wanted to scale this as globally as possible. If you browse our map you’ll see that we tried to identify as wide a variety of film and TV destinations as we could, from the Mumbai of sci-fi show “Sense8” to the Cambodia of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” We also picked movie and TV sites that would appeal to people of all ages, from fans of classic ’80s films “Ghostbusters” and “Back to the Future” to more recent movies like “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
Q. Are the cities chosen because of consumer interest on Orbitz (i.e. “most searched”)?
A. In some cases, where we’ve seen particular interest in a certain location, we wanted to offer customers interesting information about that place. But we also included destinations that may not be top of mind for travelers, but by highlighting their importance as filming locations, would appeal to TV and movie fans.
Q. Will you be adding more sites?
A. We certainly hope to. If our map proves successful, we’ll look to add more sites.Kim Foley MacKinnon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.