Monday, July 28, 2008

Tourism Movies

I've recently watched a few movies, many of them seem to be featuring picturesque China.

From the animated Kung Fu Panda to the Chinese war epic of the Red Cliff movie, China is given quite a good highlight, and in a way, 'playing a vital role' in the movie. Of course, these international movies were scripted with China in mind, and can't be replaced with a backdrop of any other country for that matter.

But then, the recent Hollywood blockbuster Batman, The Knight Rider which has background of modern day cities choose to have a feature of Hong Kong. Though it was just a small glimpse in the film, but featuring HK as a prominent international Chinese city here is something to be recognised about.

Of course, there are many more films using China as backdrops... and all this is good for the country, especially when the beautiful sceneries from the country (in this case, China) is used as backdrops.

But it's not only China that the film makers have made popular. Remember how Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) made quite an impact in the tourists flocking to the relatively quiet country of New Zealand? Well now, there is even LOTR tour guides there - touring the places that were shot in the country.

This goes to show that big blockbusters especially give a good impact on tourism to a particular country. The background view may seem unimportant to the viewers, but in fact, it makes the movie complete... like I mentioned, some just need these backgrounds because the films are meant to depict a certain country, while others enhancing a movie & complimenting its script.

And when we viewers watch these picturesque backgrounds, we may remember the movie, but we also remember the sceneries. And that could jolly well be one of our destinations in the future.

So, that is why many countries welcome film makers to make 'tourism movies'. Film makers, especially the ones with big outreach are spoilt for choice as many countries tourism bodies/ boards welcome them with open arms.

The help & assistance usually do not come in monetary terms though I've read about TV shows that are sponsored. The help come in like visas, production location shoot, accommodation & flight/ transport.

I guess the big film makers already know all these info. But for budding film makers, and even local film makers, we should use this information wisely for our future films and aim to go global with it.

Next up: Movies that have made our country on the world map.


  1. it's like what 'entrapment' did for kl when they featured the twin towers.

    then again, it wasn't all correctly depicted... there was no river by the twin towers as shown in the movie! at least it got the city in a big budget hollywood flick i say

  2. I wonder if "The King and I" created any tourism boost for Malaysia. We probably need to sell "The King and I" tour packages or are they already available?

  3. I watch local drama series and I recognise some of the places when I go KL *LOL*

  4. As far as I know, some Vietnam war movies were actually filmed in Thailand. Which country got the image boost, Vietnam or Thailand, or both?

    Similarly, Anna and the King is based on a story happened in Siam but the movie was shot in Malaysia. (Happysufer got the name wrong!) How much do we benefit from it? *scratching my head*

  5. heya howshouse
    ya, that one threw quite a fit even to the then pm. but i guess the mismatch is common for it to happen in movies.. including hollywood movies? (apparently so is lotr for nz).

    hi happysurfer & khengsiong
    yes, its anna & the king. apparently, it did help penang quite a lot - from what i talked to the tourism ppl there. lots of brits came thereafter.

    but like you pointed, i guess not much succession came thereafter - eg other hollywood movies or even 'the tourism places to visit: anna & the king'. another reason for the ok only flow of tourists could be due to the fact that the movie wasnt a super big hit.

    i like yr insight, khengsiong, on a movie filmed in another country not depicting it. i guess both countries benefit - like anna & the king - malaysia did, and the ones who dont know will go to thailand. lol.

    and i would like to think those more straigthfwd ones bring better tourism benefits :)

  6. Tourism movies-- I like that concept!

    The reality show Survivor will be filming in my country soon! That's plus points for our tourism industry too! :D

  7. 宝茹

    where are you from? hehe. always thought you were malaysian in overseas (forgive me if wrong) :)

  8. it's all right. I just have a lot of readers from Malaysia, so maybe you thought I'm Malaysian too. :)

    I'm from the Philippines. :D


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