Table of Contents
1. Part 1: Overview
1.2 Defining Film-tourism
1.3 The Lord of the Rings and why it was used for destination marketing
2. Part 2: Marketing New Zealand via LOTR
2.1 Marketing techniques used in New Zealand for LOTR
2.2 New product developments
3. Part 3: Conclusion
In the last years, there has been a growing competition in the tourism industry for destinations. Globalization, an improved transportation system and the more experienced tourist make it hard for Destination Marketing Organizations to meet the needs and to differentiate their destination. For this reason, the new trend towards film-tourism and film-induced tourism has been regarded as a new resource and opportunity for DMO’s. New Zealand has also discovered ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a new opportunity for attracting new visitors. This report investigates the different marketing techniques used by New Zealand to promote the country via ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Furthermore, it reveals and discusses the outcomes of the new strategy.
1. Part 1: Overview
The tourism industry has reached a high degree of competition or rather the maturity stage. It suffers from the increasing difficulty in differentiating products and shows a slower pace in making profit. This is caused by the changing demographics and demands of the tourists as well as from the big variety of destinations and products. For this reason, the DMOs started to change their concepts from marketing existing destinations to creating new tourism products for the tourists. New Zealand has undergone a big change in the last 9 years by using ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a marketing tool. Different marketing techniques were used by each stakeholder in order to increase the attractiveness of New Zealand and to generate a new image. The great effort towards promoting New Zealand through the movie has increased the tourists’ awareness for the country and the number of tourist arrivals. Furthermore, it benefited the countries economy by increasing its income –from tourism- from US$ 86 million in 1995 to approximately twice as much in 1999-2003. However, the focus of this paper does not lie on the benefits of film-tourism in New Zealand or the success of the marketing strategy. Moreover, it identifies the different marketing techniques used successful to promote the country via ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and discusses the techniques comprehensively. For this reason, the article is divided into three sections. The first section introduces film-tourism and the movie whereas the second part explains the reasons for using the movie as a marketing tool. After this overview, the different marketing techniques used are discussed, analyzed and the outcomes are presented. Finally, a coherent conclusion is given and some recommendations for the future marketing steps are presented for the New Zealand Tourism Board. The aim of this paper is to give an insight into the use of movies as a marketing tool for destinations by using New Zealand as a case study.
1.2 Defining Film-Tourism
Film-tourism or film-induced tourism is a very broad topic. Generally, it is described as any journey to a destination with the purpose of visiting a film location or a film set known from the television or the cinema (Busby & Klug, 2001). However, the topic is more complex. First of all, it is important to make a distinction between film tourists and film location tourists. Film location tourists are those who focus on visiting film locations whereas film tourists are motivated by the images on screen to visit regions or countries (Hudson & Ritchie, 2006). One must also separate those tourists who visit film locations as a part of their whole holiday and without any previous knowledge about the movie and the location. This is based on tours etc. which are offered to tourists on destinations. Apart from this, Roesch (2009) has identified that "a clear distinction has to be made between on-locations and off-locations" (p.7). On-location film tourism describes the visits of film locations whereas off-location tourism defines the visits of studios or homes of celebrities. Table 1 gives a clearer description of the different types of film-tourism. It additionally mentions film tourism as a romantic gaze or as the visit to a place which represents a location from the movie but which is not the film location in reality.
Table 1: Types of Film-Tourism
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Source: Busby and Klug (2001)
In short, film-tourism or film-induced tourism can be defined as the motivation to travel evoked by the images presented on the screen.