Black Tomato has forged a pioneering partnership with the James Bond movie franchise to create trips inspired by the escapades of 007. (Bond girls not included.) Jenny Southan reports
To mark 60 years of James Bond bond movies in cinemas (Sean Connery’s Dr No was the first to hit screens in 1962), Black Tomato has become the exclusive and first-ever official 007 travel partner, thanks do a deal with EON Productions – makers of the James Bond film empire.
Following the success of Black Tomato concepts such as “Take Me on a Story” (launched in 2021) and a January 2022 tie-up with Agatha Christie Limited to create Grand Tours inspired by her detective novels, the luxury adventure travel company has now been granted the right to develop private James Bond-inspired travel itineraries, beginning with a multi-country, high-octane rampage across Europe.Starting in London (the home of Bond), Black Tomato says participants will take part in “artfully curated experiences spanning arts and culture, action and adventure, with uncompromising luxury throughout”. Globetrender wouldn’t be surprised if there were martinis (“shaken not stirred”) served at London’s Duke’s hotel added to the mix. (A favourite haunt of James Bond author Ian Fleming.)After, travellers will continue to Paris, Lake Como, Venice and Monaco. Black Tomato says: “Expect cars, yachts, helicopters and iconic train journeys to feature throughout, together with high-octane, enthralling adventures and experiences.”
Full details of the assignment – an immersive adventure lasting about 12 days, with just 60 limited edition bookable private trips available for purchase – will be announced in March 2023. They will be available to both individuals and groups.Until the full reveal next year, Black Tomato says it is “tailoring this epic itinerary to precise specifications”, and will be working in close collaboration with the James Bond team, including some of their most longstanding location scouts.
Although Black Tomato calls the trend “Storification”, Globetrender has already identified and coined the trends “Dramatised Adventures”, “Limelight Locations”, “Pay for Peril”, “Constructed Realities” and “Story Ventures” to describe the emergence of high-budget fantasies-made-real, inspired by movies and literature. (Subscribers to Globetrender’s VOLT newsletter can access these editions in our trend library.)Other examples include Pelorus’s recent collaboration with Luxury Treasure Hunts to deliver a series of treasure-hunting yacht adventures that take charter groups around the coasts of Sardinia, Antigua, Barbuda and Indonesia in search of buried gold.
Supported by a team of actors, screenwriters, prop makers and location managers – some of whom have worked at Disney, Marvel and National Geographic – participants are given clues and riddles to solve, while a “games guide” helps guests locate pirate treasure and solve the mystery.
Black Tomato says that “Storification” is about “capturing cinematic and literary magic in an authentic, meaningful way”.
Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato, says: “We’re incredibly honoured to be working with the James Bond team in this first of its kind travel partnership for the 007 brand.
“It’s part of Black Tomato’s DNA to take inspiration from other cultural phenomenon outside of the traditional travel space and to have the opportunity to work with arguably the biggest film franchise of all time is a huge privilege and special milestone for the company.
“Curious by nature, it was important for us to take an inquisitive approach to this collaboration and in bringing to life the James Bond world, and we can’t wait to introduce this initial bold and breath-taking new itinerary to clients and discerning fans.”Ali James, location manager for 2015 James Bond movie Spectre, says: “I am thrilled to partner with the creative travel minds at Black Tomato, who have storytelling at the heart of their brand and have proven expertise in bringing iconic stories and literary adventures to life.
“Having had the privilege of scouting international locations on Spectre I know first-hand how destinations play a pivotal role in the production process of the James Bond films. It’s been a pleasure to see Black Tomato’s vision for transporting travellers into the world of 007 so that people can experience Bond’s rich travel history for themselves.”
Here is a taste of the Lake Como element of the adventure:
Lake Como will be the setting for this daring adventure. From the private jetty of your hotel, take inspiration from James Bond in Licence To Kill (1989) and water ski along the Moltrasio shoreline, before jumping aboard a private seaplane to continue your expedition.
Take to the skies above the picturesque towns of Bellagio and Varenna, and Spectre agent Mr White’s infamous lakeside home, Villa La Gaeta. This thrilling journey continues as you touch down, met by an iconic Bond wooden Riva boat and bottle of 007’s favourite, Champagne Bollinger.
Speed off in style to the iconic Villa del Balbianello from Casino Royale (2006) to stroll the terraced gardens before enjoying a private villa tour with exclusive insights into how they transformed the location for the film.