Croatian Film Experiences Become Scientific Study Subject

Lauren Simmonds

Croatian film experiences are now being looked into in the form of a scientific study. As Novac writes on the 14th of July, 2020, the prestigious British publisher of scientific literature, Routledge, has published a monumental edition dedicated to the interdependence of tourism and the media entitled “The Routledge Companion to Media and Tourism”.

This particular edition, aimed at universities around the world and tourism and media industry workers, provides a comprehensive overview of media and tourism convergence research, with particular emphasis placed on the concept of mediated tourism. The publication was edited by eminent scientists in the field: Maria Månsson, Annæ Buchmann, Cecilia Cassinger and Lena Eskilsson. The book brought together leading scientists dealing with this issue from around the world. It also brings with it numerous case studies from the practice of a number of countries, with the world of film playing a special role.

Among the authors of the chapter are Croatian scientists prof. dr. sc. Božo Skoko and doc. dr. sc. Katarina Miličević, who have both dealt with the topic of film-induced tourism on the example of Croatia under the title Challenges of film-induced tourism in Croatia: From Winnetou to Game of Thrones. Namely, Croatia as an alluring tourist destination has been recognised for decades as a prime filming location, where a number of popular films and series were shot. As such, Croatian film and TV tourism plays a pivotal role.

However, much like many other things, the country has undercapitalised Croatian film tourism so many of the facts surrounding it remain largely unknown. In order to further improve audio-visual production, Croatia established the Croatian Audiovisual Centre public institution back in 2008, and in order to use the film in international promotion, in 2013, it adopted a special Croatian film tourism strategy.

Based on the efforts of HAVC, a number of productions were filmed in Croatia, such as Game of Thrones and Star Wars in Dubrovnik. The paper analyses the advantages and disadvantages of film-induced tourism for the identity and image of the destination. The authors also analyse the example of Croatia look into what type of film production is used to promote the destination, and what efforts are needed to capitalise on it. It also delves deeper into what situations the promotion of the destination through film can cause confusion among tourists and actually damage the destination’s image. The authors have been dealing with the brand and image of tourist destinations for many years now, but also the country as a whole.

Skoko is a professor at the Department of Strategic Communication at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, and one of the first researchers of the phenomenon of the brand and the image of the state in this area. He is also the co-founder of the leading Croatian communication management agency – Millenium promocija. Miličević is an assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, as well as a partner in the global consulting company “Horwath HTL Zagreb”. In addition, she is the director and co-founder of the company “thinktourism”.

Thanks to the scientific study of the Croatian approach and the engagement of Croatian scientists internationally, there is no doubt that Croatian film experiences will become an inspiration to many around the world, but also an incentive for domestic institutions to better use the raw power of film in Croatia’s international positioning in the future.

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