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How film and television programs can promote tourism and increase the competitiveness of tourist destinations

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This paper outlines the correlation between the power of film (both movies and television series) as a motivational and image-making tool and the attractiveness of tourism destinations. In the light of this relationship, our research analyses the phenomenon of film-induced tourism. Even this phenomenon has been recognized and reported, very few comprehensively studies of it have been published. The evidence that has been put forward to date has mostly been anecdotal, pointing towards the capacity of popular films and television series to attract tourists, in the form of enthusiastic fans and interested audience members. Despite the fact that statistics concerning directly the impact that films have had on tourism are limited, there are still some remarkable figures. Countries like UK, Australia, and New Zealand have an increasingly interest in studying and developing the film-induced tourism. Given the existence of this type of tourism and the potentially significant economic value of this strand of tourism to the economy, understanding the drivers of film-induced tourism and exploiting its effect are crucial issues to comprehend. This paper evaluates a number of key questions and provides a stronger insight into the nature of productions which can induce tourism and recommends ways in which this relation can be strategically maximized from the economic and cultural point of view. In the current context of decreasing the Romanian tourism and film industry development, approaching together their augmentation can represents a valid solution for both industries.
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Cactus Tourism Journal Vol. 2, Issue 2/2011, Pages 25-30, ISSN 2247-3297
How film and television programs can promote tourism
and increase the competitiveness of tourist destinations
Claudia-Elena Ţuclea1
Assoc. Prof. PhD, Department of Tourism&Geography, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
Puiu Nistoreanu2
Prof. PhD, Department of Tourism&Geography, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
ABSTRACT
This paper outlines the correlation between the power of film (both movies and television series) as a
motivational and image-making tool and the attractiveness of tourism destinations. In the light of this
relationship, our research analyses the phenomenon of film-induced tourism. Even this phenomenon has been
recognized and reported, very few comprehensively studies of it have been published. The evidence that has
been put forward to date has mostly been anecdotal, pointing towards the capacity of popular films and
television series to attract tourists, in the form of enthusiastic fans and interested audience members.
Despite the fact that statistics concerning directly the impact that films have had on tourism are limited, there are
still some remarkable figures. Countries like UK, Australia, and New Zealand have an increasingly interest in
studying and developing the film-induced tourism. Given the existence of this type of tourism and the potentially
significant economic value of this strand of tourism to the economy, understanding the drivers of film-induced
tourism and exploiting its effect are crucial issues to comprehend. This paper evaluates a number of key
questions and provides a stronger insight into the nature of productions which can induce tourism and
recommends ways in which this relation can be strategically maximized from the economic and cultural point of
view. In the current context of decreasing the Romanian tourism and film industry development, approaching
together their augmentation can represents a valid solution for both industries.
KEYWORDS
film-induced tourism, tourism imaging, tourist destination competitiveness, economic impact of filmmaking
tourists
JEL Classification
L83, M39
Introduction
This paper has as a main objective the attempt to identify the dimension of academic interest in this
new type of tourism and to be aware of the consequences of this kind of touristic activities. The
research method is mainly based on secondary sources, given being the fact that Romania doesn’t
collect such statistics.
Film and television tourism (or “screen tourism”) is a phenomenon which has long been
acknowledged and reported, but few in-depth studies of it have been published. Within the last decade
film-induced tourism has gained increasing attention from academics and the industry alike. While
most research has focused on the tourism-inducing effects of film productions, not much has been
written about the film location tourists themselves.
The evidence that has been put forward to date has mostly been anecdotal, pointing towards the ability
of popular films and television programs to attract tourists, in the form of fervent fans and interested
audience members.
1 Author’s contact: claudia.tuclea@com.ase.ro
2 Author’s contact: puiu.nistoreanu@com.ase.ro
Cactus Tourism Journal Vol. 2, Issue 2/2011, Pages 25-30, ISSN 2247-3297
Some of these anecdotes relate to major blockbusters, at the same time as others are specific to smaller
“cult” screen products. But despite the anecdotes and certainty that screen tourism does indeed exist, a
number of questions about the nature of this effect remain to be adequately answered. These include:
• What kinds of film/television programs successfully convert audiences into tourists?
• How long does this effect last – only as long as the film/program is popular, or does it have a more
permanent impact on tourism?
• Which locations benefit from the tourism effect? The shooting locations or associated sites?
• How can screen tourism be effectively encouraged and managed in a strategic, joined-up manner?
• What should be considered best practice for film and tourism professionals working together?
Given the existence of screen tourism and the potentially significant economic value of this strand of
tourism to the economy, understanding the drivers of screen tourism and harnessing its effect are
crucial issues to understand.
Why does the tourism effect of film and television need to be studied? Films and television programs
are made for a variety of purposes which rarely include attracting tourists to a particular area.
However, understanding how audiovisual content draws audiences as tourists can help us to
understand the position of film and television in the broader landscape of cultural attraction.
Literature Review
While there is a substantial amount of literature on screen-induced tourism, there has been very few, if
any, comprehensive and national-level reviews of the economic impact of screen-induced tourism to
date. The existing literature typically falls into one of four main categories. These are as follows:
journalistic material, which tends to be promotional in nature, and whose assessment of a location
shoot's impact on local tourism is frequently anecdotal. This type of material includes articles such as
“The Miss Potter Effect”, published in The Guardian in December 2006 (Wainwright, Martin, “The
Miss Potter effect: Visitors head for the Lakes on the trail of Beatrix; Economic boom expected as
landscape stars alongside actors on the big screen”, in The Guardian, 4 December 2006, available
from: http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,1963604,00.html) or “Brazil fears for tourism in
wake of latest Hollywood horror”, in The Guardian, December 2006 (Phillips, Tom, “Brazil fears for
tourism in wake of latest Hollywood horror”, in The Guardian, 4 December 2006, available at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/brazil/story/0,,1963335,00.html)
local reports, which typically include surveys and statistics for individual cases, rather than
providing an overview of the larger phenomenon of screen-induced tourism. An example of this type
of literature is the “Economic Impact Assessment for the Filming of the Last Samurai in Taranaki”,
commissioned by Venture Taranaki and partners following the conclusion of filming in the region
(2004.)
other reports, which benchmark predominantly large and high-visibility international productions,
as in the case of Mintel’s October 2003 report on “The Beach” for instance (“Film Tourism
International: Case Study of the Beach”, Mintel International Group Ltd, October 2003.)
academic papers and publications, typically in the form of theoretical papers based on ongoing
research into drivers of tourism. While these might include surveys, these are typically geared towards
supporting or disproving a particular theoretical perspective, rather than providing concrete
assessments of tourism’s economic impacts on a broad scale. Examples of such academic material
include “Material Geographies of Filmmaking and the Rural” (Pratt, Andy C., “Material geographies
of filmmaking and the rural”, in Cinematic Countrysides, Fish, R. (Ed), (Manchester: Manchester
University Press, 2005).) “Re-Imaging Australia: Crocodile Dundee Overseas,”(Crofts, S., “Re-
imaging Australia: Crocodile Dundee Overseas”, in Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media and
Culture; 2(2) 1989.) Film-Induced Tourism (Beeton, Sue, “Film Induced Tourism”, of the Aspects of
Tourism 25 series, Chris Cooper, Michael Hall, & Dallen Timothy (Eds.), (Clevedon; Buffalo;
Toronto: Channel View Publications, 2005).) or “What’s the Story in Balamory?”: The Impacts of a
Children’s TV Program on Small Tourism Enterprises on the Isle of Mull, Scotland” (Connell, Joanne,
Cactus Tourism Journal Vol. 2, Issue 2/2011, Pages 25-30, ISSN 2247-3297
“‘What’s the Story in Balamory?’: The Impacts of a Children’s TV Programme on Small Tourism
Enterprises on the Isle of Mull, Scotland”, in Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 13(3) 2005) for
instance.
Nowadays, the interest in film-induced tourism is increasing and this trend is shown by the number of
different researches done by now. For example, Bolan and Davidson (2005); Busby and Klug (2001);
Riley and van Doren (1992); Tooke and Baker (1996); Urry (1990) have studied the film-induced
tourism as a destination motivator. Macionis, Singh and Best (2004) have focused their attention on
film-induced tourist while Beeton (2005); Bordelon and Dimanche (2003); Connell (2005); Croy and
Walker (2003); Kim and Richardson (2003); Mordue (2001, 2009) have been concentrated on the
impact of film induced tourism on both tourists and residents. Connell (2005); Frost (2004); Grihault
(2003); Hudson and Ritchie (2006); Morgan and Pritchard (1998, 2004) have been preoccupied by
film-induced destination marketing activities.
Findings
The main ideas interesting for us are the following:
It has been widely recognized in tourism literature that destination image greatly influences
tourist destination choice.
The more favourable the image of the destination, the greater the likelihood of being selected
as a destination choice.
Film can provide knowledge of certain aspects of the country such as nature, culture and
people which result in the construction of the attitudes towards the country.
One of the major economic benefits of film induced tourism is that it can bring higher revenues of the
local community. Film-induced tourism has the potential to revitalize rural communities and increase
tourism in urban centers. The visitors of film locations wish on-site experience which can tell them an
emotional story.
Recent researches suggest that films can have a strong influence not only on decision making for
short-term holiday, but affect tourism revenues and long-term prosperity of destinations.
The film-induced tourism’s growing popularity is mainly due to increasing international travel and to
entertainment industry development.
Schofield (1996) stated that film-induced tourism will quickly become a fashion, because the public is
very interested to have real experiences where movies are made. When people seek for touristic
objective seen on screen, it means that we are dealing with film-induced tourism (Busby & Klug,
2001).
Forms and features of film-induced tourism
The researching of scientific studies made on this new type of tourism emphasizes many forms of
film-induced tourism as follows (adapted from Busby & Klug, 2001):
1. Film-induced tourism - as part of a larger holiday – the tourist visit a film location or take part
in a video tour without having previous knowledge about the destination.
2. Film-induced tourism – as a main purpose of a special interest - the location and holiday
booking is made as a result of its image in film.
3. Film-induced tourism – as strength of the holiday – the beauty of natural landscapes, historical
sites, and actors can serve as points of maximum interest.
4. Film-induced tourism –as a place where it is assumed that the shooting took place- the filming
sites are visited, even if the film presents a different reality.
5. Film-induced tourism - as part of a romantic holiday - tourists visit places shown in movies as
special, warm, full of love.
Cactus Tourism Journal Vol. 2, Issue 2/2011, Pages 25-30, ISSN 2247-3297
6. Film-induced tourism - as a reason to escape - tourists want to temporarily escape from the
reality of everyday life.
Identifying these forms of tourism induced by film and their features can be the starting point in
designing the touristic supply dedicated to the tourists potentially interested in visiting film locations.
Benefits of film tourism
The previous international studies have indicated that film induced tourism could have different types
of positive impacts.
For instance, one of the major economic benefits that film-induced tourism can bring to the local
community is constant tourism revenue. Film locations can be all-year, all-weather attractions which
improves problems of seasonality in the tourism industry.
There are a number of studies that reveal the increasing visitation numbers at film locations.
The Impact of Film on Visitor Number
Table 1
Film Location Impact of visitor number
Braveheart Wallace Monument,
Scotland 300% increase a year after release
Captain Corelli’s
Mandolin Cephalonia, Greece 50% increase
Field of Dreams Iowa 35,000 visits in 1991 and steady increase every year
Four Weddings and a
Funeral The Crown Hotel,
Amersham, England Fully booked for at least 3 years
Harry Potter Various locations in UK Increase of 50% or more in all filmed locations
Mission Impossible 2 National Park, Sydney 200% increase in 2000
Notting Hill Kenwood House, England 10% increase in one month
Pride and Prejudice Lyme Park, England 150% increase
Sense and Sensibility Saltram House, England 39% increase
The Beach Thailand 22% increase in youth market in 2000
Troy Canakkale, Turkey 73% increase
Source: Hudson & Ritchie (2006)
Another significant benefit of the film tourism is that it increases the cultural value for the film
location. Many heritage sites that serve as film locations gain fame after the film release because these
places obtain specific meaning through film narration. Without film storylines, a castle or a stately
home may not be distinguishable form others.
Film can augment the destination image and increase the awareness of the host city. Previous research
(Kim & Richardson, 2003) suggests that those who are exposed to the film have more favorable
destination image towards destinations featured through films than those who are not exposed to films.
Television series are even more influential since they can constantly emphasize the appeal of the
destination that builds top-of the mind awareness.
But the impact of film-induced tourism is not only positive. There are several consequences that have
to be carefully analyzed and, as it could be possible, reduced. For instance, crowding and
Cactus Tourism Journal Vol. 2, Issue 2/2011, Pages 25-30, ISSN 2247-3297
environmental impact are, maybe, the most undesirable negative impact of film-induced tourism.
Other negative consequences could be exploitation of local population and increased prices.
Film-induced Tourism in Practice
One of the effective strategies to induce film tourists is joint campaigns with the film industry.
England is a good example in this sense. Approximately 28 million visitors visit Britain each year
after viewing the country on the screen (Kim et al., 2008).
The Australian Tourism Commission (ATC) worked in partnership with Disney on ‘Finding Nemo’,
being the first organisation who promotes a destination through an animated film.
Movie maps have also been widely used to promote film locations of the destination. VisitBritain
produced a movie map highlighting over 200 filmed locations across Britain which presented film-
related places. These materials have rapidly become very successful.
Conclusion
This paper tries to provide a view of film-induced tourism and calling for more empirical studies into
this area.
Also, it tries to reveal the benefits of film-induced tourism in promoting locations to the wider
audience than traditional targeted tourism promotional campaigns.
Film tourism marketing strategies have been successfully employed in the leading film destinations
such as United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia. Lessons learned from these
countries can benefit many destinations that intend to use films to promote existing or new attractions.
The success of film locations rely on the success of films. Some film locations are much more
successful than others in terms of the number of tourist arrivals.
Although films provide many positive impacts for the destination in terms of economic, cultural
values and destination awareness and image, drawbacks of the film should also be carefully
considered. This could be undesirable consequences such as loss of privacy and the difficulty of
accessing local facilities for local people, traffic congestion and the destruction of the natural
environment (Hudson & Ritchie, 2006). Another important issue includes the residents’ attitudes
towards the influx of film producing crews and the large number of tourists to the film locations.
References
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3. Connell, J., 2005. ‘What’s the Story in Balamory?’: The Impacts of a Children’s TV Programme
on Small Tourism Enterprises on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Journal of Sustainable Tourism,
13(3), 228-255.
4. Crofts, S., 1989. Re-imaging Australia: Crocodile Dundee Overseas. Continuum: The Australian
Journal of Media and Culture; 2(2),129-142.
5. Croy, W. G. and Walker, R. D., 2003., Rural tourism and film: Issues for strategic regional
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... Estima-se que, durante as filmagens, até 60% do orçamento da produção audiovisual sejam investidos na contratação de serviços como hospedagem, alimentação e logística do elenco e equipe de produção (Brasil, 2007). Segundo o Ministério do Turismo (Brasil 2007 (Polianskaia, Răduț, & Stănciulescu, 2016;Tuclea & Nistoreanu, 2011). As iniciativas locais estão relacionadas tanto à criação de facilidades para a recepção de produções audiovisuais com o objetivo de servirem como vetores da imagem do destino para atração de visitantes; quanto à criação de novos produtos turísticos. ...
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