Tourism and Cinematographic Cooperation

2:30:49 PM | 11/30/2015

The movie “I See Yellow Flowers upon the Green Grass” attracted a lot of moviegoers because of impressive scenes of nature and people in some central provinces, especially Phu Yen. Back in time, the film “Story of Pao” showed the audience a beautiful unspoiled landscape of Ha Giang province, while “The Buffalo Boy” and “The Floating Lives” bring viewers to the dreamlike gentle charm of south-western land. Many beautiful scenes are known to the public through film. Many wonder why Vietnam does not combine tourism and cinematography to create interesting movies while advertising tourism potential.
The blockbuster “I See Yellow Flowers upon the Green Grass” sets the emotional scene in Phu Yen province and is being compared to the US hit “Pan and Neverland lands” produced by Warner Bros. Studios which is on screen in North America and has some scenes shot in Vietnam. This is the first time all three famous sites in Vietnam, namely Trang An (Ninh Binh), Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh) and Hang En (Quang Binh), appear on the screen. Obviously, this is a good sign when viewers can feel the natural beauty of Vietnam but it is not an intentional employment of movie director and it is only used as a tool for imaging. And, that is why we have lost a lot of good opportunities to promote tourism.
Mr Dinh Ngoc Duc, Director of the International Cooperation Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said, only six months after the movie “Lord of the Rings” is screened, the number of tourists coming to New Zealand skyrocketed. In Thailand, after the movie “Lost in Chiang Mai”, produced by China, is played, Chiang Mai attracted a huge number of tourists to the northern region of the country, prompting local authorities to adopt a number of measures to limit visitors. The use of natural scenes in movies provides tremendous opportunities for tourism. Indeed, Vietnam had missed some few opportunities.
Mr Tran Van Long, CEO of Vietnam Travel Media Joint Stock Company, said Vietnam’s tourism sector has wasted golden opportunities that the world brought to it". Tourism promotion lacks new contents and international arrivals decline as a result. “Vietnam has great tourism potential but it is not yet tapped. Typically, after a US television channel broadcast Son Doong Cave of Vietnam to the world, why didn’t we take this opportunity to further introduce it to the world, make it a new interesting destination and make Vietnam a destination of cave tours? While other countries talk about sea tourism, why doesn’t Vietnam focus on cave tourism when this is a big advantage of Vietnam? We must have clear action plans to utilise advantages and professionalise tourism sector,” he said.
Vietnam does not lack potential and human resources for tourism development but why don’t we have movies or advertisement campaigns for tourism? Mr Trinh Dang Thanh, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Quang Ninh Province, said that we do not have enough money to produce hit films. We must have famous film producers and tourism companies engaged to make blockbuster films.
Movie director Vu Dinh Than said filmmaking needs a good investment and an effective strategy. It must have the best script featured by interesting stories associated with beautiful landscapes. Beautiful landscapes are not enough.
Perhaps, this is the reason why Ha Long Bay, twice recognised as the World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and many other attractive tourist destinations in Vietnam have not had proper promotional campaigns using motion pictures. Meanwhile, if Ha Long Bay is compared to Jeju of South Korea, the former’s natural beauty and culture are not interior to the latter but its motion picture-based promotion is lagged behind. It is time tourism and cinematography authorities worked together for mutual development. Limited budget or insufficient care is just an excuse for mismanagement. Vietnam’s tourism and cinematography sectors need a long-term strategy for the joint development.
Giang Tu