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dec 08 2010

Does a disaster movie turn you on (or off) to a destination?

Sandstone formations in Southern Utah (Eden Bakti Photo/Budget Travel)

Much has been made of the many cringe-inducing moments—both of the predictably horrifying, arm-sawing variety and of the more surprisingly gruesome, extreme-close-up, contact-lens-insertion sort—in Danny Boyle's trapped-hiker film 127 Hours. But where some see a surefire way to lose their appetites for movie popcorn, the state of Utah sees a built-in marketing opportunity.

The Utah Office of Tourism recently launched a series of five 127-hour (or roughly five-day) itineraries throughout the state, including everything from cross-country skiing and mountain biking to bird-watching and touring historic towns—and yes, even some hiking. All of which raises the question—does this make you want to see Utah more?

Certainly, the state's unique and majestic natural beauty has long drawn both adrenaline-seekers and the adventure-averse, but does associating the landscape with Aron Ralston's tragic/heroic self-rescue increase or decrease its appeal?

You tell me, BT reader: Are travel-disaster movies a selling point or a turnoff?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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