It turns out that English singer Phil Collins has been captivated since he was five years old by the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio TX. He has been so captivated by it that he has become the largest private collector of Alamo memorabilia by amassing over 200 artifacts associated with the 1836 battle. His collection includes Davy Crockett’s leather shot pouch and one of four of his remaining rifles, a pair of powder horns, muskets belonging to Mexican soldiers and one of the original Bowie knives made famous by Alamo defender Jim Bowie, and much more.
Explaining how this came about, Collins said, "Some people would buy Ferraris, some people would buy houses, I bought old bits of metal and old bits of paper.” He said he first became interested in the Alamo after watching the 1950s TV series ‘Davy Crockett’.
This story immediately bought to mind not only how emotions dictate so many of our purchases, but how our choice of destinations can be influenced by some of our earliest cultural experiences. Today, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (New Zealand), Sex in the City (New York), Frozen (Norway) and Eat, Pray, Love (Bali) are all influencing people’s destination choices and what they will spend their time seeing and doing. This notion that the places and people we were exposed to in our favorite television, movies and books when we were very young will influence our later purchases and destination choices is very important to tourism marketers. Many places have locations that are linked to movies, music and literature, and while they may not want to lead their marketing with them, they should make this information readily available to prospective visitors.
The great news is that Mr. Collins has generously donated his extensive memorabilia collection to the Alamo. Once a large enough facility is built, even more Baby Boomers who grew up on a steady diet of Davy Crockett can enjoy them. Well done!