Film-making, tourism and territory

The relationship between film production and a local area is increasingly a subject for study between private and public operators working in the film and tourism industries. The phenomenon is as yet little-known and not investigated scientifically, but its importance has been widely recognised by specialists in these sectors.

Hosting the making of a film means, for the territory itself, acquiring a series of advantages and benefits that are more or less directly correlated; in particular, there are direct, indirect and secondary effects deriving from the production in the area, and from the presence of entire crews requiring a series of services.

The cinema-territory link can also create or reinforce the position of the location, its fame, and the character associated with it, thereby providing a positive influence on the perception of potential tourists. The settings, and hence the public and private operators active there, can gain a material advantage in attracting an incoming tourism, motivated in part by visiting what has been filmed.

The project set up by the Biennale di Venezia and undertaken by Risposte Turismo s.r.l. with the scientific co-ordination of Francesco di Cesare, lecturer in tourism marketing at the Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, takes the form of research into the link between cinema, tourism and territory. It will be presented and distributed in a volume at the Lido di Venezia on 31st August 2006 during the 63rd Festival. The study begins with an initial analysis of the relationships between the tourism industry and film-making, and then presents an original series of international cases offering consolidated examples. The processed replies to a questionnaire will also be presented; this explored the causal links between seeing a film – feature films in particular – and the selection of tourism products (holiday destinations). With regard to the situation in Italy, there will be an overview of the activities of the Film Commission, and some investigations into three areas that have collaborated with the Biennale di Venezia in the realisation of this work: Campania, Piedmont and Veneto, as well as a more generalised survey on a nationwide scale of the phenomena being studied.

From the point of view of method, the work has been based on the use of a broad variety of international bibliographical sources, and to a series of meetings and interviews with leading figures from the world of film-making, representatives of the Film Commissions and organisations associated with them. Surveys have been effected, acquiring information on the production plans and submitting questionnaires on a local and national basis to a sample of tourists and/or film-goers. In particular, it is worth mentioning the presentation of a comprehensive on-line questionnaire, produced thanks to a collaboration with Kataweb, available on-line in the web sites of Kataweb Cinema, Trovacinema and the Biennale di Venezia, which has enabled the gleaning of precious information from almost 1000 replies regarding the links between cinema and tourism.

A research project backed by the Cinema Sector of the Biennale di Venezia with the support of Banca Italease, Centro Studi Nuct Mediterraneo, Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Film Commission Regione Campania and Veneto Film Commission, presented in a volume at the 63rdFestival.