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The Film Producer as the Long-stay Business Tourist: Rethinking Film and Tourism from a Gold Coast Perspective

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Studies of the connection between film and tourism have tended to foreground film-induced tourism whether as a consequence of films being made in particular locations or as arguments for encouraging film production activity in a particular location. In both cases film production is seen to be beneficial for the ancillary benefits it creates in terms of destination awareness. In this article, however, we suggest that film-induced tourism is a somewhat limited way of perceiving the relationship between film production, tourism and place. By focusing on the example of the Gold Coast, we argue that the provision of film and television production services to 'footloose' producers is approached here as a form of tourism alongside other niche tourism markets. In this context, film production becomes another tourism business segment to be pitched to, catered for, with special requirements that need to be met. Furthermore there are significant synergies between tourism and the servicing of international film production, beyond film-induced tourism. This is apparent in the sharing of expertise and infrastructure; in the way that place identities as tourist destinations are critical to the branding of places as production locations; for the opportunities presented by significant tourism and leisure economies for retaining a flexible workforce that can accommodate the fly-in-fly-out nature of film and television production. It is our argument that where the Gold Coast is concerned, tourism has been a central partner in the development of the Gold Coast as a greenfield production location.
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Keywords: Film-induced tourism; destination branding; flexible workforce; production services; synergies; theme parks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of English, Media Studies and Arts History, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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