A Good Idea. Part I
A Good Idea. Part I
We’ll always have Paris, said Rick in his legendary farewell to Ilsa. They would both have the French capital and this, in its entire splendor, the tourist promotion that a film like that one made of it, a film that, in its shooting, had not left the West Coast of the United States. And, obviously, had not even touched the real Casablanca. If these lovers did not need to set foot in the city of love to evoke all its charm and fix it in the minds of so many moviegoers, decades later, it was very helpful for New Zealand that, despite not being mentioned in the trilogy , The Lord of the Rings made a modern Middle Earth out of its landscapes and publicized the shooting locations in all its press material. So helpful it was that the number of American tourists that traveled to the Oceanic country increased by 30%.
After all, in a dark room what we all want is to leave reality outside, and once the ending and credits force us to confront it, what we would like is to relive the fantasy that has won us over by going to the place where we have been happy.
Film tourism moves 40 million international travelers each year. In the book Tourism Promotion and Power: Creating Images, Creating Identities, its authors, Nigel Morgan and Annette Pritchard, consider that “inserting” a destination in a movie is the final product placement. After its inclusion, and if the film has a medium success, travelers begin the pilgrimage to it and increase its potential, whether it is the Tuscan village of Volterra, where the most powerful vampire family of Twilight had its home, or the muds in Formentera, where the protagonist of Sex and Lucía bathed naked, which became immensely popular after its appearance on the big screen.
In fact, the existence of tourism offices as active parts of the industry is recent but already very important in all stages of a production. Film commissions, created in different areas of the world, are agencies especially dedicated to promoting places for filming in their territories. Initially, they depended on cultural or audiovisual sectors, but lately, especially in our country, many are born at the initiative of tourist departments.
The choice of some destinations as location of films or series not only generates immediate benefits in the economy of the area (use of spaces, hospitality, catering, extras, transportation, audiovisual and industrial services, etc.), but also promotes its landscapes, people and customs and provides long-term profits. That is one of the most interesting aspects of film tourism. That it lasts in time. A movie can continue to attract visitors year after year, regardless of its release date. Likewise, these types of travelers are beneficial to avoid seasonality, since the locations of a film can normally be visited at any time of the year, and those travelers usually have a high cultural level and a high purchasing power, which makes them stay longer and spend more money. And if not, let’s ask Kenya and Out of Africa, a movie turning 30 years old this year as striking as ever.
By Claudia Lorenzo