Enhancing film-induced tourism: An analysis into how to increase a country’s exposure to filmmakers in pre-production promotion.
LT 3P18 N - Leisure & Tourism Management Project
Tourism can be accounted for an essential part of many small, medium and large-scale economies. In 2012 the expenditure projected by the World Travel & Tourism Council is at $2 trillion, upped to over $6 trillion if indirect spending is included. With this arises the battle of tourists’ attention by destinations, ranging from remote places to buzzing metropolises. Branding efforts by Destination Marketing Organisations (“DMOs”) have been trying to address this issue using personalities of places as emotional selling points. A trend unforeseen by DMO’s only emerging in recent decades has influenced travelling decisions greatly, generated by the increased influence of the media – filminduced tourism. With little research into this field it is a nearly untapped source for marketing purposes, leaving this trend open to the liking of film-productions independent of marketing activities. Allowing for a location to be placed like a product in a movie the audience will associate the emotions evoked by the specific film the geographical location has appeared in, increasing branding opportunities via this secondary route. The issue encountered here is how to gain exposure as a geographical location to productions that will likely evoke emotions, corresponding with the DMOs efforts. This paper looks closely at two important features of this: Firstly, it provides a sound understanding of the different entities involved in the location choice. Secondly, an interrogation into how the previously outlined roles come to their knowledge of the location. Interviewing various industry insiders this report looks at how geographical locations are chosen for productions. Concluding recommendations in order to gain more exposure to pre-production movies are made, including the use of film commissions, reaching out to location managers and being a part of the annual AFCI Location Show.
While the academic writing about the impact of place branding in context of the trend of film-induced tourism is sparse, the amount of research that has been conducted into how to increase exposure of geographical locations by pro-actively promoting the location to filmmakers in a business-to-business (“B2B”) approach is bordering on nonexistent. Even though it has been acknowledged by academia that film tourism is highly lucrative, with such examples as New Zealand’s increased economy after applying different marketing activities relating to films set in this country, the overall consensus is agreeing on insufficient measurement methods of promotional activities towards the impact of film tourism. The issues arising with this are the unaccounted successful and unsuccessful ways DMOs may have tried to market their geographic locations, in order for others to be statutory examples and guidelines for their own marketing efforts into this direction. This report tries to give an overview of the so far researched and published information available about this topic with a wide use of thorough related secondary research and more specific primary inquiries. In the context of a number of producers, all primarily located in the American film industry (Hollywood) from small and large scale productions, as well as other related experts this issue is in adequate scope of this report discussed. The focus is looking at pre-production variables that can be influenced when choosing the location. The limited availability of research, as previously pointed out, will likely create various hurdles that will have to be faced when furthering exploration of this topic: designing trials, conducting audits and measuring effectiveness. As suggested by Hudson and Ritchie (2006b) the success of film tourism is related to five factors: destination marketing...
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