'Yellowstone' and 'The White Lotus' inspiring luxe summer vacations, 'set-jetting' trend

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The “set-jetting” trend in tourism is driving travelers to choose vacation destinations based on their favorite television shows, including the Montana mountains seen in the Kevin Costner-led “Yellowstone” and the sandy beaches of Maui featured in the first season of “The White Lotus.” 

According to Adam Duckworth, president and founder of Travelmation, “Set-jetting is a hot travel trend where travelers are building trips around their favorite TV shows or movies.  This trend has exploded over the past year, thanks to the extreme popularity of shows like ‘Yellowstone’ and ‘The White Lotus.'” 

Expedia’s Unpack ’24 Study surveyed 20,000 people, and more than half of the participants in the study said they researched a potential travel destination after seeing it on a television show.

Travelers participating in the study mentioned they get vacation inspiration from television shows over social media or travel agencies.

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National Geographic noted this trend is not new for television and movie super fans. The outlet reported one in five travelers to New Zealand are fans of “The Hobbit” or “The Lord of the Rings.”

Below are some hot travel destinations that have been highlighted on major television shows.

Montana, ‘Yellowstone’

Duckworth told Fox News Digital his company has seen a huge increase in demand for travel to Montana because people want to live like the Dutton family.

“We have clients contacting us regularly to set up trips to Yellowstone National Park. And get this — you can stay right where they film the Dutton Family Ranch, but you better book early,” he explained.

Kevin Costner at Cannes Lions Festival

The Washington Post reported in 2023 that the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research’s study showed that 2 million tourists said “Yellowstone” inspired them to visit Montana in 2021.

Lucy Beighle, communications director for Glacier Country Tourism of Western Montana, told The Washington Post, “We definitely have seen an uptick in interest because of ‘Yellowstone.’ If Montana wasn’t already on the map, and if people have seen ‘Yellowstone,’ it certainly is now.”

Montana

Hawaii and Italy – ‘The White Lotus’

There has been an increase in interest among families looking to vacation in Maui, Hawaii and Sicily, Italy. According to Duckworth, “The White Lotus” is largely responsible for the spike in travelers to those locations.

White Lotus cast

“White Lotus has sparked the most interest with travelers,” he explained. “Fans of the show want to experience the luxury of the resorts they are seeing on their screens. The first season was filmed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and the second season took place at the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace.” 

Four Seasons hotels might be a little pricey for someone looking to get “The White Lotus” experience. 

“We’ve booked White Lotus fans at nearby hotels so they can still experience the beautiful scenery and destinations,” Duckworth said. “Fans are willing to do whatever it takes to immerse themselves in these lavish worlds.”

Maui

Taormina, Italy

According to Expedia, the travel agency saw a 300% increase in travel to Hawaii and Sicily, Italy, after the first two seasons of the hit show was released on HBO.

According to National Geographic, fans have the opportunity to stay in Jennifer Coolidge’s exact room that appeared on the show if they ask for the “Royal Suite.”

According to Deadline, season 3 of the hit series will be filmed in Thailand, specifically in or around Koh Samui, Phuket and Bangkok and begin filming in February. Duckworth says Travelmation is expecting to see an increase in travel to Thailand after the season is released. 

Sydney Sweeney at the premiere of "Anyone But You."

“Season 3 will take place in Thailand, and we are getting ready for a huge increase in travel to that part of the world when the next season drops,” Duckworth said.

“My top tip: Book that trip to Thailand now,” Duckworth added. “We predict ‘White Lotus’ fans will drive up prices as demand increases.”

Deadline noted the next season is expected in 2025. 

Scotland, ‘Outlander’

Travelmation’s travel adviser, Kristin Peterson, traveled to Scotland to immerse herself in the world that was showcased throughout the “Outlander” seasons. 

“Scotland is the iconic destination for Outlander fans. I have even done this trip myself,” Peterson said. “The obvious first stop is getting to Midhope Castle, but there are so many ways to experience the show in real life.” 

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

Peterson added her recommendations for eager “Outlander” fans trying to get the most out of their Scotland vacation. 

“I recommend walking the battlefield of Culloden, entering the drawbridge of Linlithgow Palace and, most importantly, going over the sea to Skye. These will certainly put the show front and center to the ‘set-jetting’ traveler,” Peterson said. “Exploring standing stone circles, walking through fields of purple heather and thistle, and, of course, wearing a kilt add so much more dimension to the story. It’s the perfect destination for fans from all over the world.” 

Stone circle Scotland

According to the National Trust for Scotland Foundation, “Outlander” had a major impact on tourism to Scotland in the pre-pandemic era.

“The ‘Outlander Effect’ inspired an increase in tourism to Scotland, with fans of the story traveling to visit the real-life historic sites and landscapes that feature prominently in Gabaldon’s story,” the foundation shared.

Paris, ‘Emily in Paris’

“Emily in Paris” fans have been flocking to France since its season 1 release on Netflix in 2020. In the show, a neighborhood bistro named Les Deux Compères is prominently featured. In real life, the restaurant is called Terra Nera.

Terra Nera

The restaurant’s Instagram account highlights fans flying in from all over the world to take a photo in front of its famed entrance to the building.

The fourth season of “Emily in Paris” will debut on Netflix this fall. 

“When that next season drops later this year, we will absolutely have clients asking to see these stunning locations firsthand,” Duckworth explained.

Expedia’s Unpack ’24 study saw a 200% increase in searches for Paris after “Emily in Paris” debuted season 3.

Lily Collins

England, ‘The Crown’

The Telegraph reported about a study done by Barclays in 2017 about the effect “The Crown” had on travel to England. 

Olivia Colman

At the time, Barclays interviewed 10,000 travelers, and one-fifth of them admitted the television series based on the late Queen Elizabeth’s life influenced them to choose England for their next vacation.

The study showed a 63% increase in international tourists to England compared to recent years.



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