Every man’s dream holiday has finally arrived: the chance to inhabit the lifestyle of the one and only international man of mystery, Mr Slick, Suave, and Smooth himself – James Bond. And, in a pleasantly surprising turn of events, it may be significantly more affordable than you first expect…
After a series of disappointing announcements about the next instalment of the world-renowned British franchise, including actors like Henry Cavill and Idris Elba variously being rumoured to have taken and turned down the role, as well as news that large swathes of the original Bond books are set to be re-written, suffice to say it’s been a confusing few months for fans.
But perhaps the tide of fortune is turning: if you’ve ever dreamt of being James Bond (and let’s face it, we all have), we’ve got some good news for you…
Thanks to the rise of “set-jetting” – a new and rapidly growing trend where fans visit destinations from their favourite movies and TV shows – travel providers are now offering immersive James Bond-themed experiences for the British spy’s most committed acolytes.
Black Tomato, a luxury travel company, has created sixty custom tours for fans of the iconic spy. These tours offer unparalleled immersion into the world of 007, including perusing Bond costumes and props, learning fight sequences with combat expert and all-rough hardman Lee Morrison, plus hearing tales from the Bond archive director, Meg Simmonds, in London.
And that’s not all: James Bond-themed private tours are also available, with experiences such as high-speed boat rides down the River Thames, sailing on a vintage yacht along the Côte d’Azur, and helicopter rides above the snow-capped Ötztal Alps in Austria.
Of course, these experiences come at an expectedly hefty price: the tours range from $27,500 per person for a five-night experience to $112,000 per person for the full twelve-day experience. But for die-hard fans of the franchise, the price might just be worth it.
It’s not just James Bond, either
It’s not just James Bond fans who are riding the set-jetting hype train. Destinations, tour operators, and even production companies are creating immersive experiences for people to bring their favourite fictional worlds to life…
The government of Alberta, Canada, is creating a map of filming locations for The Last of Us fans to follow a road trip. Meanwhile, the cliffside town of Taormina, Sicily – where the second season of The White Lotus takes place – is already proving to be a popular destination for screen-inspired tourism this year.
Similarly, the sudden interest in travel experiences inspired by The White Lotus has in turn inspired the luxury hotel Four Seasons in Cap-Ferrat: hoping to also capitalise on the set-jetting phenomenon, the hotel is now offering a “Girls Trip on the French Riviera” package, inspired by the trending Netflix series Emily in Paris.
In fact, many online travel aggregators including Expedia are predicting that entertainment will soon overtake social media as the top source of inspiration for travellers. Streaming services such as Netflix are also expanding their slate of interactive events, which offer more localised, accessible, and affordable immersion into fictional worlds.
So there you have it – you can finally live out your lifelong Bond fantasy in the flesh, or your Emily In Paris fantasy, should you be so inclined. A word to the wise though: license to kill and unrivalled powers of attraction are not included.