Eat, Pray, Love Tourism Frenzy Begins
If you want to start a fight among people who love to travel, raise the subject of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat, Pray, Love. It was a bestseller, which means that many people really liked it, but the backlash against it has been pretty vociferous -- in summary: self-absorbed, navel-gazing, "me, me, I, I," not-really-travel-writing, crap.
A good even-handed exploration of the backlash is here. Personally, I thought the book was fine and believe that the strong negative reaction is actually against the concept of a woman who does not follow a cookie cutter path to being a happy wife and mother. Although I will concede that the movie's official URL - letyourselfgo.com is cringe worthy.
Anyway, in August, the book that people love to hate will be better known as a movie that they'll love to hate, starring Julia Roberts who many people love to hate, or hate to love. (To say nothing of eating and praying.)
Since there's an obvious travel tie-in, get ready for many EPL-themed travel packages. My colleague, Deb West, wrote about an early adopter this past January, and now there's news that guidebook publisher Lonely Planet is a promotional partner of the film. There's even a special page to help you plan your own Eat, Pray, Love journey.
Here's hoping no one hates you for it.