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One Day: How a Netflix series has boosted bookings on the Greek island of Paros

One Day: How a Netflix series has boosted bookings on the Greek island of Paros

Located in the heart of the Aegean Sea, the picturesque island of Paros has recently captured the hearts of travellers worldwide, thanks to its starring role in the smash hit Netflix drama One Day.

This lesser-known Greek destination, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbours, has witnessed a remarkable surge in interest. Airbnb bookings have soared by 32 per cent following the hit show's release.

The bittersweet love story follows the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew (played by Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall), who meet on 15 July 1988, the day of their graduation from the University of Edinburgh.

Drawing on the source material novel, the Netflix show focuses on their intertwined lives by revisiting the same date, 15 July every year, for the next 20 years.

One Day spans the years of Em and Dex's relationship and the many places they travel to, including Paros, both together and apart.

A cinematic escape in Paros

In episode four, Emma and Dexter go on a drama-filled holiday to Paros – a charming Greek island in the heart of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea.

Paros is also home to picturesque villages packed with Cycladic charm where viewers can catch a glimpse of Parikia, the island's capital and main port, featured in the show. It has pretty, whitewashed buildings adorned with colourful bougainvillaea, narrow cobblestone streets, and a lively waterfront promenade lined with tavernas and cafes.

The series also filmed on the island's beaches and at the Naoussa Harbour.

The small and picturesque fishing village of Naoussa in Paros.
The small and picturesque fishing village of Naoussa in Paros. - Unsplash

Airbnb's One-Day-inspired getaways

"One Day has brought one of the world's most quietly romantic Greek islands, Paros, to the attention of viewers," Amanda Cupples, Airbnb general manager for the UK and Northern Europe, told Gloucestershire Live.

"With the hit series currently on everybody's lips," said Cupples, "you can bring your wanderlust to life with a stay in one of these amazing listings on Airbnb.

“Mirroring the experiences of characters Emma and Dexter, guests can embark on their own One Day-inspired adventure, crafting cherished memories that will endure for a lifetime."

With the help of Airbnb, travellers can immerse themselves in the magic of One Day by choosing from a curated selection of accommodation that captures the essence of Paros.

Picture-perfect garden maisonettes and Cycladic apartments offer a glimpse into the idyllic lifestyle portrayed in the series, allowing set-jetting travellers to create cherished memories reminiscent of Emma and Dexter's adventures.

One Day isn’t the only TV show fuelling a drive towards destinations with iconic film locations; it’s a growing trend with positive and negative outcomes.

What is set-jetting?

In recent years, a new trend has emerged in travel: set-jetting. Derived from the term "jet-setting," set-jetting refers to movie-inspired tourism.

The desire to see locations featured in films and TV shows has seen visitors heading to destinations to follow in the footsteps of their favourite characters.

This trend has sparked widespread interest among tourists, reshaping how we perceive and experience iconic filming locations worldwide.

The 2023 Global Travel Trends Report by American Express found that 70 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials draw their travel inspiration from a movie or TV show they’ve recently viewed.

Expedia also has reported that close to 40 per cent of global travellers have booked trips based on destinations they’ve encountered in a TV show or film.

What is the impact of set-jetting?

Set-jetting can stimulate local economies by driving tourism demand and generating revenue for businesses in the area. Hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and souvenir shops often see increased activity due to heightened interest in filming locations.

Data has shown that TV shows such as The Tourist, White Lotus, Emily in Paris, and Game of Thrones greatly impacted travellers' destination decisions and local economies.

Expedia Data given exclusively to the Sky News Money blog shows how the popular BBC reality series The Traitors - filmed at Ardross Castle - has caused searches for hotels in the Highlands to rocket.

What are the challenges of set-jetting?

Danny Boyle’s 2000 movie The Beach perfectly exemplifies set-jetting gone wrong.

This popular film sees Leonard Di Caprio walking through the jungle, finally discovering the secret place he had been looking for - a heavenly white sandy beach with pristine waters, sheltered from the outside world by majestic arc-shaped limestone cliffs.

Tourists walk the beach of Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh island in Krabi province, Thailand.
Tourists walk the beach of Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh island in Krabi province, Thailand. - AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File

Inspired by the beauty of this world-famous scene, thousands of tourists soon descended on the shores of this 125-meter-long and 15-meter-wide beach on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi Le, wreaking havoc on its delicate ecology.

Most corals, which used to make the site's beauty, died after damage caused by boat engines, trash thrown by visitors and sunscreen diluted in water. This brings us to the following paradox: tourists come to see a gorgeous and pristine lagoon from a film and end up visiting an overcrowded and polluted beach.

Many other locations featured in hit films and TV shows have reported overcrowding, increased traffic and litter. Dubrovnik’s old city – featured in Game of Thrones - has become hugely overcrowded and in danger of losing its distinction as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Responsible set-jetting: Navigating film and TV tourism with care

While set-jetting offers a fun opportunity to explore our favourite filming locations and connect with beloved stories, it's essential to approach destinations with a sense of responsibility.

By adopting sustainable practices and respecting the communities and environments we visit, visitors can ensure that their set-jetting experiences positively impact destinations rather than ruining them.

When visiting filming locations, respect any restrictions or guidelines to protect the site's integrity, especially in fragile environments.

Also, avoid trespassing on private property or taking up-close snaps of people’s residences. Remember, this is a real-life place, not a film set.

Practice the Leave No Trace principles by leaving natural and cultural sites as you found them. Dispose of waste responsibly, refrain from littering or public spaces, and leave behind only footprints while you trace the steps of your favourite stars.