Channel Tunnel rail service Eurostar yesterday reported record sales for the half year after football fans and The Da Vinci Code boosted demand.
A sharp increase in business passengers also lifted sales, which rose six per centto £259.9 million after 3.73 million travellers used Eurostar.
A sponsorship tie-up was timed with the release of The Da Vinci Code, which was based on the best-selling novel and filmed in London and Paris featuring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.
Simon Montague, Eurostar's director of communications, said: "Our partnership with The Da Vinci Code, the blockbuster movie, is generating strong interest in overseas markets, with travel agents reporting increased sales on our London-Paris trains as fans of the film look to follow in the footsteps of its stars."
Many football fans chose to travel to the World Cup in Germany by Eurostar to connect with other European operators, he added.
And business passenger numbers increased by 11 per cent during the period due to the service's punctuality - now at 91 per cent - and convenience, he said.
In autumn 2007, Eurostar will move its London terminal from Waterloo International to St Pancras International, with the completion of the second section of the UK's first high-speed line.
Journey times are expected to be faster with Brussels one hour 51 minutes away from London and Paris two hours and 15 minutes.