Brits Descend(ants) on Hawaii

Films in 2012 cause surges in popularity to movie destinations

In the midst of movie award season, today reveals the top films of 2012 that are sparking huge travel trends into 2013, as UK travellers looked to visit the location of their favourite films. The overall most popular film of 2012 was The Descendants, where searches to Hawaii and its glorious beaches that George Clooney battled to protect, increased by 282% in January 2012, compared to January 2011.

Skyfall may have been awarded a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but it also fared well in the travel chart with searches to its locations of Istanbul up 171%, and Shanghai up 108% in its month of release compared to the same period last year.

Fictional film destinations also proved extremely popular as holiday destinations in 2012, with The Hunger Games inspiring an increase of searches of 141% to its location of Asheville, North Carolina and The Hobbit causing a 114% spike in searches to New Zealand on when it was released in December 2012. Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 inspired “Twihards” to visit its main location of Vancouver, Canada, with searches up 89% in November 2012.

Top movie destinations experiencing the greatest search increases following their release:


Comparison period

Search increase

1The DescendantsHawaii, USA

January 2012 vs. January 2011


2SkyfallIstanbul, Turkey

October 2012 vs. October 2011


3Hunger gamesAsheville, North Carolina

March 2012 vs. March 2011


4The HobbitNew Zealand

Dec 2012 vs. Dec 2011


5SkyfallShanghai, China

October 2012 vs. October 2011


6Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2Vancouver, Canada

Nov 2012 vs. Nov 2011



Kate Hopcraft of said, “The search increases to movie destinations just goes to show that our love of film doesn’t end when we leave the cinema, as film fanatics from across the UK have been inspired to visit the top locations of 2012 in real life. With the Oscars just around the corner, it will be interesting to see whether the winning productions spark further travel interest as fans look to recreate the cinematic magic for themselves.”