Lonely Planet Writer

Travellers are searching for the Japanese island featured in the new Tomb Raider

Once again, movie magic has tricked travellers into searching for a vacation in a fictional land. Flight booking site Kiwi.com has reported that users in Britain have been searching for the mythical island of Yamatai, which is the setting of the new Tomb Raider film.

The latest movie following the adventures of Lara Croft (played by Alicia Vikander) was released over the weekend and led to hundreds of searchers for Yamatai, which is supposedly located off the coast of Japan. However, if the scenery from the film is actually sparking your wanderlust, it’s worth noting that it was actually shot in the Western Cape of South Africa, which might be a better bet for a vacation if you want to get close to the real thing.

Alison Couper of Kiwi.com said in a statement: “it’s great to see how modern movie phenomena inspire us to travel to new destinations, even if we don’t realise they’re fictional, we are a nation waiting to be inspired”. While the site can’t find you a flight to Yamatai, you could still take a trip to Japan or South Africa instead.

Table Mountain in Cape Town, Western Cape of South Africa. Image by ©Alexcpt/Getty Images

But this is only the latest instance of films leading aspirational travellers astray; Kiwi.com reported a similar boost in searches for the fictional country of Wakanda following the release of Black Panther. In fact, with the Marvel movie’s massive box office success, plenty of people were wishing they could visit the technologically-advanced African nation. While Wakanda isn’t real, a lot of inspiration was drawn from real African countries and many tour companies are hoping that’s enough to spark more interest in the continent. Hotels.com also reported a Black Panther bump, leading travellers to search for places that sound similar to the home of T’Challa, instead ending up with Wakanda Park in Wisconsin, or the private island of Wayaka in Fiji.

But, if you want to try your hand at adventuring like Lara Croft, why not try out a Tomb Raider escape room that features real sets from the film.