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CAN MOVIES HELP PROMOTE TOURISM?

Susan Hill

Films can influence
where you go on holiday
.

 

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Countries around the world have a new way to lure tourists to their shores. The tourist industry has found that visitors are inspired by films they have seen when choosing where to go on holiday.

One country that is certain of the effect of films on tourism is Australia. The Tourist Office of Queensland say that Crocodile Dundee, starring Paul Hogan, made Australia the popular destination it is today. In the three years after Crocodile Dundee was released, visitor numbers doubled. Many of the new tourists came from the US. ‘They were fascinated that such a place could exist,’ says an Australian tourist official.

Scotland's Tourist board are convinced that two films released in 1995, Rob Roy and Braveheart, helped increase the number of visitors. In research undertaken the following year, they discovered that one in every five tourists in Scotland said that one of these films had made them want to go there. ‘You get Liam Neeson running around in a kilt and suddenly tartan is the in thing,’ says Morag McAteer, a Scottish hotelier.

But what makes people want to visit the place where a movie was filmed? In many cases the reason is that the film makes audiences aware of the existence of a place. When the James Bond movie The Man With The Golden Gun was filmed in Phuket, Thailand most Westerners had never heard of it. Today it is a major destination.

Leonardo di Caprio's film The Beach has boosted tourism in another part of Thailand. The film is about the discovery of the most idyllic beach in the world. As a result the Thai authorities are facing a tourist boom in the film's location, Koh Phi Phi.

Some people are influenced by a movie's mood as much as its location, especially if it is a romance. Romantic couples are seen more often at the top of the Empire State building whenever Sleepless in Seattle is screened in the US. Four Weddings and a Funeral has ensured that ‘The Crown’ hotel in Amersham has been busy ever since the movie was first shown. In fact the bedroom where the characters played by Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell spend their first night together is booked for years ahead. ‘We've lost count of the number of marriage proposals that have been made there,’ say the hotel management.

It is not just the tourist boards who are happy with the influence of films on a destination. Residents of a rather run-down area of London have seen house prices almost double thanks to Julia Robert's romance with Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. Film stars, such as Madonna, who had previously thought of Notting Hill as a good place for a party, have now bought property there. Perhaps they hope to revive their romances.

Source: Source: New English Digest

GLOSSARY

to lure: to persuade someone to do something (de persuadir)
has found: has spotted (ha detectado)
released: prepared for public distribution (estrenada)
doubled: duplicated, increased twofold (se duplicaron)
helped increase: helped become bigger (ayudaron a incrementar)
undertaken: carried out, accomplished
(llevada a cabo, realizada)
one in every five: 20 per cent of (uno de cada cinco)
kilt: a knee-length pleated skirt worn by Scottishmen (pollera escocesa)
tartan: plaid, a cloth having a crisscross design (tartán, tela escocesa a cuadros)
the "in thing: the fashion (la moda)
makes audiences aware of: updates audiences about (informa y actualiza al público)

most Westerners: the majority of the inhabitants living in the Western areas of the world (la mayoría de los occidentales)

a major destination: one of the most important touristic areas (uno de los destinos turísticos más codiciados)
boosted: increased (incrementado)
facing a tourist boom
: dealing with a sudden state of economic prosperity (enfrentando un impactante incremento turístico)
movie's mood: a film's climate (el clima de una pelicula)
screened: projected onto a movie screen (proyectada)

busy: crowded, full of tourists (repleto de gente)
first shown: screened for the first time (proyectado por primera vez)
booked for years ahead: reserved for future years (reservado por adelantado para los próximos años)
marriage proposals: offers of marriage (propuestas matrimoniales)
tourist boards: tourist offices (las oficinas de turismo)

run-down area: worn and broken area (zona venida a menos)
bought: acquired, purchased (adquirido, comprado)

 

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