A year and a half ago, the hit Julia Roberts movie Eat Pray Love inspired a wave of tourism to Italy, India and Indonesia with its aspirational story of a young woman on a quest of self-discovery.
Now, an all-star cast could be about to do the same in India, for travelers of a slightly different generation.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which opens in the UK this week, tells the tale of a group of retirees who attempt to ‘outsource’ their retirement to exotic India, rising above the initial disappointment to embark on a journey of shared experiences.
The film taps into a well-documented trend for senior travel — earlier this month, over 50’s travel insurance specialist Staysure said that the trend for ‘grown-up gappers’ (gap-year adventurers) appeared to be increasing, noting that more of its customers were seeking adventure holidays.
Given that, it looks like there could be considerable benefits for India, as the film goes on global release over the coming months with a cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith.
The country has already received superb exposure ahead of the film’s release, with Judi Dench describing India as “bewitching” in interviews and director John Madden noting that “everybody was very, very affected by it.”
Travel Indochina, a tour operator counting plenty of grown-up gappers among its clients and specializing in the region, said that there has been a ‘significant increase’ in the number of departures and bookings for journeys to Rajasthan, the area featured in the film.
“Once the film has been released, we would expect to see an upturn in bookings, as people tend to get enticed by the scenery and culture shown in this style of film,” a spokesperson told Relaxnews.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is released in the UK this week, in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands in March and in the USA, France, India and Hong Kong in May. — AFP RELAXNEWS