Press release

Holidaymakers swap West Indies for Westeros as 8 million Brits admit travel choices are inspired by screen

  • Harry Potter (19 per cent) and James Bond (19 per cent) are the movies with the most influence on holiday destination
  • Friends fans make a pilgrimage to Central Perk, with (16 per cent) New York topping the TV charts, followed closely by Game of Thrones (13 per cent)
  • UK destinations premier as top tourist spots with many holidaymakers seeking homegrown film or TV set locations
New research from LV= travel insurance has revealed more than eight million holidaymakers [1] are choosing to live out their screen dreams by letting a TV show or movie location influence their holiday choice.

Location-inspiration means that more holidaying 'muggles' are running through the walls at Kings Cross or wannabe spies are sipping martinis that have been shaken, not stirred, as Harry Potter (19 per cent) and James Bond (19 per cent) top the list as the most influential movies on holiday destination selection (See Table 1 for a full top 10). TV shows also have a role to play, with one in eight (13 per cent) Brits opting for locations inspired by Game of Thrones, which came a close second on the scale of TV show destination influencers - trumped only by long-standing sitcom Friends (16 per cent) based in New York (See Table 2 for a full top 10).

And it seems the UK is the destination of choice with recent homegrown blockbuster TV shows and movies - Harry Potter, James Bond, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Poldark to name a few - among the productions that have influenced more than a third of people (36 per cent) [2] to explore regions within the UK on their holidays over the past five years (See Table 3 for full top 10).

Bragging about their destination to friends and family was a key factor for one in seven (13 per cent). Almost a third (30 per cent) chose their holiday destination because they liked the movie or TV show while 17 per cent of diehard fans said they wanted to stand where the actor had stood. Nearly half (48 per cent) [3] chose the destination because the scenery looked beautiful.

Across the water, New York is the city gaining most from holidaymakers, with a third (30 per cent) of people admitting to being influenced by its depiction in a TV show or movie, but it only narrowly kept London (28 per cent) off the top spot (See Table 4 for a full top 10).

Of those who have travelled in the last five years, one in 10 (11 per cent) unfortunately had their trip postponed due to cancelled or delayed flights with three per cent risking not being adequately covered for their film and/or TV inspired trip as they didn't take out travel insurance.

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= Travel Insurance, said:
"TV shows and movies are inspiring a wealth of adventures, and it's great that many of the locations being chosen are in our own backyard. Whether you're close to home or overseas, it's still important to protect yourself by making sure you have the right travel insurance, be it for a day trip to Downton or even more so if you're abroad and planning to embrace your inner Bond and start rock climbing, abseiling or tackling evil henchmen with your bare hands."

LV= Travel Insurance provides insurance for adventure activities within their 'Movie' Premier cover including up to £10,000 cover for cancellation of excursions or activities, including day trips, while on your trip.

Notes to editors

 LV= commissioned ICM Research to conduct omnibus research among a sample of 2,051 adults in the UK. Surveys were conducted across the UK in April 2016.

Table 1: Top 10 Most Influential Movies


Rank  Movie
1 Harry Potter (19%)
1= James Bond (19%)
3 Mamma Mia (18%)
Midnight in Paris (16%)
Pirates of the Caribbean (15%) 
6 Breakfast at Tiffany's (13%)
=6 Lord of the Rings (13%)
8 Gladiator (11%)
10 Indiana Jones (10%)
=10 Braveheart (10%)
=10 Star Wars (10%)

Table 2: Top 10 Most Influential TV Shows


Rank TV Show 
1 Friends (16%)
Game of Thrones (13%)
=2 Absolutely Fabulous (13%)
4 Sex and the City (12%)
=4 Downton Abbey (12%)
 6 The Walking Dead (11%)
=6 Poldark (11%)
8 Breaking Bad (9%)
=8 Dexter (9%)
=8 Mad Men (9%)
=8 The Vikings Uncovered (9%)


 Table 3: Top 10 countries benefitting from the influence of TV shows and movies

Rank Country
1 United Kingdom (36%)
France (23%)
=2 USA (23%)
 4 Spain (17%)
 5 Italy (15%)
 6 Greece (14%)
=6 Australia (14%)
 8 The Bahamas (12%)
=8  Germany (12%)
 10 Egypt (10%)


Table 4: Top 10 cities benefitting from the influence of TV shows and movies

Rank  City
1 New York (30%)
2 London (28%)
3 Paris (24%)
4 Chicago (12%)
5 Los Angeles (11%)
6 Las Vegas (10%)
=6 Dublin (10%)
=6 Rome (10%)
9 Edinburgh (9%)
8 Venice (8%)



About LV=

LV= employs over 6,000 people and serves over 5.8 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We are currently the UK's number one brand for Insurance and Investments, according to the 2015 YouGov Brand Index Buzz Rankings.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

Press contact

Jon Sellors
Head of Corporate Affairs, Life & Pensions
020 7634 4447
07711 701806