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Article
june 03, 2010
Cinema experience as an enhancer of tourist destinations

Cinema and television have always been powerful tools for advertising and promoting cities, destinations and cultures. They provoke, tempt and invite the viewer to plan their vacation time "movie induced".

Since its emergence in the life of modern man, cinema has had on him a special attraction. Unforgettable images of movies and TV shows that are part of the memory of the viewer, design and shape many of their daily experiences, including leisure options.

Many cities of the world have been almost strictly perceived through the eyes of the audience rather than the traveler or tourist, and have overlapping images as diverse as romance, the image of failed encounter between Debora Kerr and Cary Grant in the Empire State Building of New York in “An Affair To Remenber” (1957); to plain terror, with King Kong waving its claws in the top of the same building. The unforgettable image of África in “Out of Africa”’s Kenia (1985), William Wyler’s Rome in “Roman Holiday” (1953), Salzburgo’s landscapes in “The sound of Music” (1965), the Odessa (Ukraine) stairs sequence of Einsenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin” , are indelible images in modern imagery.



It is impossible not to mention two typical cases of today's popular culture. The recognition of shows like "Lost" and "Sex and The City" have led to a new form of tourism that borders "pilgrimage". Tours tailored from this emblematic series’ geographical landmarks are institutionalized offer in some destinations. Hawaii (location to most of Lost episodes) and the New York of Carrie Bradshaw, well know destination trademarks, have been invigorated by television hits. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy has generated as much. New Zealand destination has set thanks to the advantage that local tourism administration has achieved from the commercial success of films.

Like New Zealand’s case, other tourism authorities have recognized the promotional benefits of film images and have plotted strategies to capitalize its advantages for adverting destinations. For example, the Scottish Tourist Board published a brochure with possible locations for the film industry. Another form of contribution is direct investment in film projects. The case of the Woody Allen’s film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", shot in Barcelona with city hall and regional council’s support, has echoed in other cities. Malaga’s City hall, through the Malaga Film Office, has sponsored Antonio Banderas’ film "El Camino de los Ingleses" and there are chances that Madrid ‘s City hall do the same with a new Woody Allen film set there. Barcelona is a paradigmatic case; its long touristic experience enables the offer of new products, in addition to those already known, such as "movie-walks" (www.barcelonamovie.com), arranged tours referring to different films: "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona", "Todo Sobre mi Madre ", “El perfume”, “Láuberge espagnole”, or “Manual d´amore II”, ", all shot in different stages of the Catalan capital.

A new type of tourist is outlined, the "set-Jetter, a product of the interaction between film industry (Set, locations) and tourism industry (jet, flights); this tourist sketches its roadmap guided through entertainment industry fictionalized sites. Thus arises a finished product, "movie-maps" or "movie-walks" used by destination marketing organizations responsible to promote a brand and build competitive advantage.



Tourism is held, among other things, on traveler’s imagination and the previous expectation of what he’ll find at destination arrival. Given this, it is possible that the current "infotainment” society (intersection between information and entertainment) is becoming increasingly permeable to consume “fictitious” experiences generated by film or TV script. The intimate, mysterious, spectacular stories we’ve seen on the screen, lead to travel, to experiment, to place oneself in the center plot of other stories where the traveler (spectator-actor) finds a place to stage the ideal image of himself. Films, by its highly visual quality and added emotional content, are the ideal vehicle to bring the audience a foretaste of travel experience.

Luciana Asinari - C4T

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