Tourism promotion through short films is expected to help advertise Saudi Arabia’s image to more domestic and foreign tourists, according to an expert.
Short filmmaker Muhammad Al-Mousa, winner of the first place in the "Saudi Summer Award for Media Excellence" believes that "short films" are the most influential method in marketing the identity of tourism, cultural and heritage cities.
He emphasized that in addition to TV serials, interesting short films will help promote tourism. After the release of such films, a lot of reviews and comments are often shared on social networks, expressing how viewers are very impressed by the films.
Recently, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) introduced the "Saudi Winter for Media Excellence" award, aiming to enhance the presence of young creators in the "Tourism Media".
It provided a platform for the citizen to show their artistic creativity, through "Short films to promote the winter tourist destinations and experiences that distinguish the Kingdom from other countries during the "Winter Around you" season in more than 17 destinations.
Al-Mousa. who was raised in Al-Ahsa. affirmed that what distinguishes the influential dimensions of "short films" is its mixture of several attractive artistic elements, which are "feelings, images, movement, and content."
This is what we need today, he said, to attract tourists to various tourist destinations and experiences; so, it is important; as it carries out the tasks of what is known as "social responsibility towards tourism."
In line with what the international festivals offer for tourism films recognized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), STA has activated the field of "short films", which play a pivotal role in promoting local culture and products., and improving measures to make tourism an inclusive experience.
Thamer Al-Harbi, a tourism expert and director of public relations and media at the Faculty of Tourism at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, believes that "short films" have become an influential element used by countries that possess tourism potentials to attract regional and international markets.
“Because it is based mainly on individuals reviewing their tourism experiences through their views. This gives them a wide area of creativity, and it is the most convincing method, especially when it is published on the various virtual platforms “Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram,” and YouTube channels,” he said.
Al-Harbi, who holds a BA and MA in Tourism and Hospitality Management, indicated that short films could contribute to highlighting Saudi tourist destinations and experiences in terms of availability of information, and promoting the growth of "tourism sustainability."
He added, "The short films will give the participants a strong impetus to the development and production of tourism films, by creating competition between professional and amateur filmmakers, and encouraging them to film and produce films related to our destinations, heritage and tourism experiences.”
He remarked that the introduction of beautiful local landscapes through movies is an ideal way to promote the city’s tourism. In reality, many film lovers are eager to visit the picturesque places, which have appeared in their favorite films.
The "Winter Around You" season identified five areas for the "Saudi Winter for Media Excellence", which are: press reports, television reports, radio programs, photographs, and short films, with a total of 250,000 riyals in cash prizes to raise the level of professionalism in providing media materials, encourage creativity and innovation in promoting Saudi tourism.