Screen tourism is big business: Travellers flocking to get a selfie in front of an iconic shot and admire stunning movie scenery first-hand. There will be a host of tourist boards around the globe gleefully waiting to welcome set-jetting visitors to their shores in the wake of the 92nd Academy Awards.
New Zealand, for instance, saw a 50 percent increase in visitors after the filming of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tourism Northern Ireland estimates that the Game of Thrones series contributed significantly to visitor numbers, with a total of 120,000 tourists generating around £30 million to the local economy in 2016. The mayor of the tiny Austrian village of Hallstatt has even had to ask tourists to stay away following its alleged inspiration as Arendelle in the movie Frozen.
For anyone inspired by this year’s big screen belters, here are some of the award-winning film locations you can seek out for yourself.
Seoul, South Korea
Parasite was the surprise Best Picture winner at this year’s Oscars, the first foreign-language film to take the trophy. The movie follows the story of the Kims, a poor South Korean family who con their way into the lives of the well-to-do Parks. Head to Seoul to scout out some of the film locations being promoted by the Seoul Tourism Organisation, including the Doijissal Supermarket where Ki-woo first hears about a part-time tutoring job with a rich family. Other spots include Sky Pizza which supplied the pizza boxes in the film and the staircase down to the Jahamun Tunnel, where members of the Kim family escape when fleeing the Parks’ home.
Better yet, visit Seoul for its museums and historic sites as well as its plentiful hiking trails and mountains.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Los Angeles, USA
Discover Los Angeles is promoting the locations used for Tarantino’s love-letter to the city, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969, the film uses a few key locations and institutions that have seen little change in the last 50 years, such as celebrity hangout Casa Vega. It’s here that fading TV star Rick Dalton and his best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth get drinks.
The pair also meet with Dalton’s agent at Hollywood’s oldest restaurant, The Musso & Frank Grill. Over the years the place has hosted everyone from Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Munroe to Keith Richards.
A visit to LA wouldn’t be complete without taking in Hollywood Boulevard and joining a Universal Studios tour.
Salisbury Plain, UK & Normandy, France
This award-winning First World War drama was filmed almost entirely on location, outdoors, in the UK. The flat landscape of Salisbury Plain stood in for northern France in half the film’s locations including the opening scenes. It was here too that the deserted farmhouse scene was filmed, near the village of Shrewton. When Lance Corporal Schofield nearly drowns it’s at Low Force, an 18-foot waterfall on the River Tees in County Durham. With Tees Barrage International White Water Centre used for the rapids.
The only overseas location was at the Abbey of Sainte-Trinite or Abbaye aux Dames in Normandy, France. The former convent was destroyed in 1944 but reconstructed by the chief architect at the listed monuments department.
The Czech Republic
Director Taika Waititi’s moving satire on Hitler youth devotee, Jojo Betzler was shot at several Czech Republic locations based in and around Prague. Most of the exterior shots of the German city where the action takes place were filmed in the old town of Žatec to the north. Jojo and his mother are seen walking alongside the Hořín lock on the Mělník – Vraňany canal, northeast of the capital. Back in Prague itself and the library building occupied by the Nazis is the Petschek Palace.
Prague’s baroque architecture, castle, beer and picturesque river setting are reason alone to dedicate a long weekend.
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