Getting on location for a taste of the Bond life

Bond films have been a tourism boon to filming locations. Photo / Supplied
Bond films have been a tourism boon to filming locations. Photo / Supplied

Fifty years of James Bond has done as much for tourism as it has for Aston Martins and shaken martinis. The movies are as famous for their locations as they are for the gadgets and smooth one-liners.

Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, uses Istanbul, London, Scotland, Shanghai and Macau as a backdrop and lucky is the destination who gets to host 007 and his posse. And some destinations are still making money from their role as scenery.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The first Bond film, Dr No (1962) featured the dripping wet Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in her bikini with a dagger strapped to her hip and the resort beaches of Ocho Rios are still grateful. Scenes from Live and Let Die, Octopussy, and The Man with the Golden Gun were also shot here. James Bond Beach, 20 minutes away at Oracabessa, is where Bond author Ian Fleming lived at his Goldeneye Estate and wrote all the books. Tours run daily and fans can dine at the Moonraker Bar and Grill.

Ticino, Switzerland
Pierce Brosnan's Bond bungy jumping off the 220m Verzasca Dam at the start of GoldenEye (1985) is regarded by some as the best stunt in film history. Today, tourists can do the terrifying 007 GoldenEye Bungee Jump, in 7.5 seconds - and how they don't smack into the dam wall is a mystery - for between $250 and $300.

Phuket, Thailand
Phuket has hosted two Bonds, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. Ko Tapu Island is now called James Bond Island thanks to its starring role in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Tourism was just beginning in Phuket in the 1970s when James Bond put more than his car on the map. Nearby Phang Nga Island also starred, but didn't get a name change. However, tourism to both areas has made a huge impact on the region with more boats ferrying paying customers and more divers enjoying the undersea world that made this famous enough to secure 007 in the first place.

Venice, Italy
Hotel Danieli, one of the most prestigious hotels in the city just metres from St Mark's Square, played home to Dr Holly Goodhead who shacked up here (along with the film crew) in Moonraker (1979). But if you haven't got $1000 a night to stay, pop into Bar Dandolo for a Vesper Martini, created to celebrate Roger Moore's love interest Vesper Lynd. It's a very Bond-like concoction of gin, vodka, martini dry and angostura bitters. Shaken, of course.

Montenegro
Alas while Montenegro was lauded as the location of Casino Royale (2006), it was not in fact filmed here, as the unspoiled Balkan state wasn't quite up to the glamour. However, the misconception meant tourism boomed anyway.

Now a luxury resort is being built to Bond-up the little country. Porto Montenegro is designed to attract the wealthy elite to the "Montecarlo of the Adriatic". Word is it will include a casino to be called, you guessed it, Casino Royale.

Indeed, tourism bodies all over the world have a lot to thank James Bond for.

- NZ Herald

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