Lights, Action...Social Media: Movies and Travel
A funny thing happened on the way to the movies.
Forty million international movie-goers opted to travel to a place where a movie they loved was shot.
Travel Daily News (TDN) reports that these travelers made their travel plans and chose their destinations based on a movie they saw in 2012. Obviously, as TDN says, filming in a destination is "clearly a very efficient driver for attracting new visitors."
Makes sense. As Mashable reported, old Hollywood had its star system and magazines. New "movieland" has its Twitter, Facebook and multiple mobile devices.
Although movies have always shown trailers, studios are now using Facebook and Twitter to show their trailers, creating special web sites to screen the previews, and creating "viral alternate realities," using location-based services.
And "crowdsourced screening locations" is another way the movie industry can turn a $15,000 dollar-to-make Paranormal Activity, into a $150 million dollar success. Movie execs at Paramount used Facebook to get fans to ask for a showing of the movie in their areas.
One million fan requests snowballed into major box office receipts.
But, what's cool is how movies boost travel and tourism.
TCI Research, which helps the tourism and travel industry with marketing and branding, noted that regions and cities that make movie-making easy through tax credits and support, will reap travel rewards by attracting first-time visitors, young travelers and multi-generational travelers.
TravelSat, which benchmarks a destination's competitiveness, noted that since 1 in 10 visitors out of a hundred, would chose a destination based on a movie they saw, stronger links between the movie and travel and tourism industries makes big sense.
Even though using movies to promote a destination is a relatively indirect marketing strategy, in comparison to a vigorous, more direct Social Media marketing campaign, it's an effective one, especially among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.