This paper is particularly focused on film-induced tourism investigation as well as its cultural promotion and cultural change effect that impact on both the tourist destinations and the tourist demands. The case studies include the famous Transylvania, Romania as well as the two comparative destinations in Southeast Asia namely Bali in Indonesia, and Penang in Malaysia. Although tourism planners have limited control over the content of the films produced in the respective destinations and how the destinations are being portrayed in films, it is reflected in our studies that, the imaginary, visual representations of the destinations, albeit negative or distorted from their original identities, are still useful and viable to promote the tourist destinations. The three discussion cases form up the stratification of multiple stages in terms of implementing film-induced tourism strategies to promote their destinations, spanning from one of the oldest film-induced tourist destinations Transylvania, to an over decade-long film-induced destination Ubud in Bali, to a sprouting film-induced destination George Town in Penang. Such a stratification of three comparable destinations leads to both the vertical and horizontal evaluation of the effectiveness of film-induced tourism strategies. Hence, a methodology of multiple-case study with mixed-methods characterised by a set of differing qualitative research approaches will be adopted to the three distinctive destinations, respectively. Emerging markets require new techniques and strategies of marketing, especially in the unsettled post-COVID-19 era. Findings may be useful to destination managers in planning an effective destination image strategy in order to achieve the most sustainable positive impacts and aligning the films’ image of the destination with the desired image and the potential audience reach.
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