Today, countries and regions are participating in the ongoing struggle for film producers: the flow of tourists depends on them no less than on tour operators. This is how the “rebate” (eng. Rebate – “discount”) works – the reimbursement of film production costs from the authorities of the places where the shooting takes place.
The rebate practice appeared in the USA 🇺🇸 in the late 1990s as an answer to the Canadian authorities. With a series of tax breaks in 1997, Canadians lured them to shoot several Hollywood blockbusters. Producers opted for California over the “cheaper” Ottawa. Soon, rebates and other categories of bonuses took shape in the powerful MPI system (movie production incentives), adopted around the world.
The choice of nature for filming is an excellent reason for blackmail by movie bosses. For example, the Canadian province of British Columbia missed the blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), when neighboring Quebec “broke the price”, proposing to compensate not 16%, but 25% of the total film costs. This arithmetic was evaluated at 20th Century Fox and sent the shaggy Wolverine to Quebec. Today, British Columbia offers to cover already 33% of the expenses for the work of the film crew “in the field”, 17% of the costs for the production of animated and other effects, 6% of the budget for shooting outside Vancouver, and 6% of the costs for staff remuneration “in the distance”.
Many post-Soviet republics have already entered the world market of kinogenic territories. Indeed, the essence of the rebate is primarily in attracting the filming of high-budget paintings, the expenditure of which is guaranteed to compensate for the most generous return bonus. At the same time, the origin of the film company is not critical – local and foreigners have equal chances of getting a rebate.
In Vilnius, where the shooting of the Air Force series “War and Peace” took place, thematic film tours instantly appeared. One of the brilliant palace suburbs of St. Petersburg felt the charm of the movie-induced tourism: in the film, the Gatchina Palace depicted the Rostovs estate with one facade, and the Bolkonsky estate with the other. In the resulting additional tourist flow, the British confidently lead.
Illustrative evolution has been done by Georgia 🇬🇪. Launched in 2015, the rebate system was originally developed for the national film studio. However, a year later Colchis became the filming location of the Bollywood movie saga about the legendary ruler Satakarni. Whether the success of the film will increase the tourist attraction of Georgia in the Indian market remains to be seen.
Why does everyone need a rebate
Practice shows: playing rebates is worth the candle. The pluses are obvious – the territory, which got a movie with a budget of several million, remains the winner both in direct income and in the cumulative effect of filming. Not a single marketing budget of a country can be compared in its power to the output of a blockbuster, where a clearly defined location of filming becomes an impulse for tourism. Yes, there is no 100% guarantee, but if the film “shoots”, the tourism market will react instantly. The aesthetic Hotel Grand Budapest was filmed by Wes Anderson in Germany thanks to rebates from German film funds. As a result, a stream of intellectual moviegoers headed to Saxony, where filming took place.
France 🇫🇷 last year took a risk and went on to raise the rebate rate – as a result, it received an increase of only Hollywood investments more than threefold (an additional € 100 million). As a result, the sixth “Mission Impossible” was shot in Paris.
South Korea 🇰🇷 expects over the next five years to attract more than $ 400 million of investments and create almost 6.5 thousand new jobs in the film industry with a fairly low 10% rebate rate.
New Zealand 🇳🇿 became the canonical example of promoting a tourist destination through a cult epic film based on Tolkien’s book.
Iceland 🇮🇸 praises to the Game of Thrones. The natural cave of Gretaghya can hardly withstand the flow of fans, and the Icelandic krone in 2016 significantly strengthened against the dollar and the euro.
Touristic routes associated with the cult series will definitely be included in marketing textbooks.
Thailand 🇹🇭 qualitatively expands the geography of tourist routes thanks to a simple reception. From time to time, for “this time is the real” place for filming the film “Beach”, islands are issued that need additional promotion.
Ironically, Vis belonged to Hellas a long time ago: in the 4th century BC. e. here was founded the first Greek settlement on the Adriatic – Issa. As once the ancient Greeks were forced to leave the fertile island under the onslaught of Rome, so now they are leaving the battlefield defeated for movie budgets and the following tourist flows.
The current Hollywood empire is comparable in its influence to the Roman one in its heyday: Caesars of the 21st century, powerful producers, conquer not the lands, but the rebates.