Tours Based on Entertainment Finding A Niche

A ride through the countryside on a magical train, an elaborate banquet and a visit to an ancient castle that doubles as the site of a school for witchcraft and wizardry.

Sounds like the stuff of books and movies.

Actually, it is.

Beyond Boundaries Travel, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., is at the forefront of a growing vacation trend, offering themed trips focused on popular books and movies such as the Harry Potter series, “The Da Vinci Code” and science-fiction favorites such as “Star Wars.”

The trips are helping Beyond Boundaries carve a niche in the rapidly consolidating travel industry, where it’s getting tougher for small agencies to survive.

Themed trips certainly are not new, but they are becoming more popular as consumers increasingly look for one-of-a-kind vacations that offer more than just plane tickets and a place to stay, experts say.

Customers run the gamut, including families, single women and companies that use the tours in giveaways or as sales incentives.

“They really go out of their way to not only show you places where the actors have been but also to really get you into the spirit of the books,” said Catherine Collins, a registered nurse in New York who will attend her second Harry Potter-themed trip this summer. “You feel like you’re a part of it all.”

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