January 16, 2012

Struth! Smurfs take over village for blue movie

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says a small village in Spain that has fewer than 180 residents has attracted 80,000 visitors in the past six months – all because every one of its buildings was painted a vivid blue for the filming of a Smurfs movie.

And now the people of Juzcar, which is normally visited by around just 300 curious tourists a year, have voted to keep everything blue rather than return to their traditional white, as they enjoy the fruits of a tourism boom.

Juzcar, that's near Malaga in Andalucia, was painted blue in the middle of last year after it was chosen for the location of The Smurfs 3D movie. Amongst those throwing themselves totally into the spirit of things is the local Mayor who has not only decreed that Juzcar's Town Hall will remain vivid blue, but that his Mayoral title for the time being will be changed to "Papa Smurf," and a village priest who is offering "Smurf Weddings" complete with local residents coming along dressed as giant Smurfs.

And according to the Mayor the influx of tourists has not only grown employment in the little village and boosted its economy, but increased villagers' happiness as well.

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