Destinations are riding the waves of music video tourism
TOURISM is a complex and multifaceted industry that often relies on other industries to give it a little boost.
Be it technology, hospitality, F&B, retail, or even entertainment.
Part of the widespread pop culture, movies and music have the power of turning an audience into instant fans of a destination, which translates into potential tourists.
Back in 1978, when American disco group the Village People wrote and performed Y.M.C.A, complete with dance moves to spell out the alphabets with one’s arms, the song was implicitly understood as celebrating the YMCA’s reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot.
Ultimately, it drove up revenues for YMCA from increased accommodation requests.
Or, take Despacito, for example.
Puerto Rico, the Caribbean home of 3.7 million US citizens, went bankrupt in May last year to deal with US$70 billion in debt. The year before, the island was stung by Zika and therefore made attracting tourism numbers a challenge.
But as soon as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s original Despacito music video, as well as mega pop star Justin Bieber’s remix, climbed the charts and eventually took over the world, the country’s economy started to recover.
There’s a line in the addictive hit song that goes, “Vamos a hacerlo en una playa en Puerto Rico“, which translates to “Let’s do it on a beach in Puerto Rico”.
And the music video depicts the Caribbean’s quaint streets, natural scenery, as well as its nightlife (remember the club scene?).
Hotels.com believes that Despacito is responsible for sending travelers flocking to the island, specifically to see how they “do it on a beach in Puerto Rico”.
According to an analysis released by the booking website, worldwide searches for the Caribbean island are up more than 45 percent. The Old San Juan La Factoria club, which was featured in the music video, has also been getting featured in tour schedules.
It’s safe to say that was the marketing gimmick that Puerto Rico never expected.
But it’s not the first and it certainly won’t be the last.
Music has a strong influence on a traveler’s decisions, be it for events and festivals or as of recent, a holiday.
Watching a music video, seeing different cities, landscapes, and towns may motivate a traveler. It’s really not that different from gawking over scenic Game of Thrones places or having to pick one’s jaw off the floor after watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Harry Potter film series.
“As such, directors of these videos ensure that they are able to search for the best scenery that has an outstanding scenic beauty that is, in turn, to be used in selling the video to as many fans as possible,” writes tourismembassy.com.
“Research studies show that music videos recorded in beautiful cities like California, Johannesburg, Long Island and other cities are set to have great success when released in the market. Consequently, this has made it quite easy to promote tourism in these cities as the videos present the first scenic beauty of the cities.”
If the artist has a huge enough following or if the music video goes viral enough and if people love it enough, then they’ll start making lists of locations that they want to see and experience firsthand.