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OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Package Holidays

Updated Tuesday, 24th October 2006

Exploring the emergence of package holidays, as part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

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Nation on Film rhs 5 Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team

During the 1950s and 1960s package holiday tours were taking off. Tour operators were keen to use film to promote this ‘new life’ experience where a greater range of people had the opportunity of enjoying a foreign holiday, often for the first time.

Hundreds of would-be tourists turned up at public halls to watch movies commissioned by new tour operators such as Thomas Cook. Later, companies adopted more aggressive sales techniques. ‘Go Gay With Gay Tours’ was made by an advertising film director and was shown across the North West of England.

The promotional films spoke of golden sunshine and sands just a few hours away. Spanish fishing villages, including Torremolinos, were promoted as idyllic locations for a summer break.

This period was also an exciting time for amateur film-makers. New lightweight affordable cameras made it easier for the new wave of tourists to record images of their adventures. Standard 8, and later Super 8, cameras were used to record impressions of life and holidays abroad.

First broadcast: Friday 14 Jan 2005 on BBC FOUR

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