1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years since its introduction as a medium of mass communication, film has been adopted as a medium to send developmental messages to the people. Davis (2006) was of the opinion that films about black people, especially feature films contributed in creating awareness among black people in America on the history and culture of Africans. This is a pointer to the fact that film can play an important part in creating awareness. Rogers (2006) in a bid to project the importance of film as an instructional tool encouraged the use of documentary films to serve as teaching aid for teaching black Latin-American culture. This position is not however restricted to Latin America alone; it is applicable to all parts of the world. With emphasis on the role of film in development, especially in developing countries, Hopkins (1971) explained that “developing countries, anxious to accelerate the processes of economic and social change will offer their people a better life, have turned increasingly to film as a means of supplementing or replacing traditional communication forms.” (p.5). Sauer (1992) further added that “Film could be a strong tool for development. It can be used to contribute to a feeling of nationhood, as a voice for national planning, to help teach necessary skills, to extend the effective market, to help people look to the future, and to prepare people to play a role in nation building.” (p.25).
In Nigeria, film has been used since the colonial era to enlighten people about government programmes and also by missionaries to serve as a means to pass evangelical messages. Alawode and Sunday (2013) agree with this position by saying:
The films shown by the colonial masters and the missionaries were the means of propagating their government and religion. During the Second World War, films were used widely by the British government for propaganda effort to make people in the colonies to understand why they should fight in the wars. Mobile cinemas were used all over Nigeria to communicate the news of the successes of allies and defeat of the Germans. (p.114).
This approach gained acceptance even after independence as the various governments (state and federal) decided to use film as a medium for passing historical messages to the public. The use of film in propagation of messages became enhanced by the introduction of television broadcasting in Nigeria. Government capitalized on this medium to pass across messages on agriculture, religion, history and other issues bordering on national development and cultural integration.
Film messages are embedded in their themes. A theme is a dominant idea made concrete through its representation by the characters, action and imagery of the film. Rea and Irvin (2010) describe it as a central concept, idea, or symbolic meaning in a story. Rabiger (2008) explains that “The theme of a work is the topic of its discourse or representation.”(p.189). For a film about the son of a wealthy Nigerian who ends up as a New York taxi driver, it might be, ‘Beggars must learn they cannot be choosers.’ If the film is about an unknown actor auditioning for a musical, it might be, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ Borrowing from these examples, a film with a tourism theme will deliberately showcase the tourism potentials of a country, either through exotic sceneries, historical features, people and so on. This is because the meaning of a film defines its theme. It has been widely recognized in tourism literature that destination image greatly influences tourist destination choice.
Butler (1990) suggests that films can influence the travel preference of those who expose themselves to the destination attributes and create a favourable destination image through their representation. Images of destinations play a significant role in influencing tourists’ decision-making process, which will become a strong basis for such tourists to decide to visit the destination (Echtner & Ritchie 1991; Gartner 1989). The more favourable the image of the destination, the greater the likelihood of being selected as a destination choice (Chon 1990; Um 1993). Film is capable of providing knowledge of certain aspects of a country such as nature, culture and people which result in the construction of the attitudes towards the country. An interest in the nation and its positive image can eventually lead to an actual visit to the country (Iwashita, 2006).
Persuasive economic arguments have been presented regarding the money and jobs brought to a town or region during the filming process, for example, $US21m and 183 full-time jobs were provided to the people of Illinois during the filming of A Thousand Acres. As explained by O’Connor and Bolan (2010), “Films and television series provide us with a window into other places that broaden our knowledge and can fuel our desire to travel. What has become known as film induced tourism has begun to gather momentum as an area of both academic research and industry interest.” (p.27)
According to Reijnders (2010), “James Bond films have appeared, resulting in an extensive, international network of 007 locations. The tourist industry makes full use of the power of these locations to attract tourists.” (p.369). As a demonstration of this statement, the island of Ko Tapu in Thailand was just a small fishing community before 1970 until EON Topicions, producers of James Bond decided to shoot the Man With the Golden Gun on the island. According to Reijinders (2010) “When this film, which was popular around the world, appeared, Ko Tapu became internationally famous almost overnight. Within a few years, it had become one of the top tourist attractions in Thailand, complete with James Bond tours, t-shirts and assorted souvenirs. ‘James Bond Island’, as it is now known, attracts over 1000 visitors a day.” (p.269). James Bond Island is not the only unique case that exists. There are other locations that are known entirely or partly thanks to their appearance in a James Bond film. Certainly, the fact that locations become internationally recognized as soon as they appear or are mentioned in bright colours in a James Bond movie suggests that film is a strong agent of tourism. Ian Flemming, the writer of the James Bond novel, from where the movie adaptation of the James Bond series originated said in one of his quotes on James Bond that the first law for a secret agent is to get his geography right. From all the James Bond movies produced so far, it is obvious that the knowledge of geography has seen James Bond travelling from one part of the world to the other in an adventurous and exotic lifestyle. With these travels always come a revelation of the beauty of such countries visited hence, always leaving an impression of visiting such countries in the minds of the viewers.
The Nigerian film industry which is the largest in Africa and the second largest in the world (according to Fortune Magazine in 2015 and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) magazine on growth and development in 2016) can benefit a lot from the concept of film induced tourism. If government agencies and private organisations will partner with film makers to showcase the various tourism potentials in the country (like the Olumo Rock. Yankari Games Reserve, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Erin Ijesha Waterfalls, Idanre Hills, Kajuru Castle, Sukur civilisation among others), a strong revenue base would have been created for many states. But how can film makers showcase the tourism potentials? What are the techniques that are adopted in the James Bond movies that Nigerian film makers can look into? This leads us to the crux of this thesis.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The Nigerian film industry is the fastest growing film industry in Africa. Oh (2014) explained that “The Nigerian film industry, also known as “Nollywood,” produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood.” (p.1). Nollywood films have enjoyed viewership from all parts of the world. How does the world see Nigeria in the face of Nollywood, considering the fact that the mass media is supposed to mirror the society? The film industry in Nigeria has in some ways projected the Nigerian culture to the world. However, critics like Opeyemi (2008) have argued that some themes in Nollywood films portray the Nigerian society in bad light. With ladies scantily dressed and living like prostitutes or gold diggers who will do anything to get money even as far as snatching their best friend’s boy friend. Njoku (2009) gave his account of an interview he had with two Kenyan filmmakers, Mercy Murugi and Janet Kanini-muiva “they asserted that judging from Nollywood movies, they have watched so far, many Kenyans have the impression that Nigeria is a traditional home of witches.” As if that is not enough, some critics are of the opinion that the themes are going a bit away from the values of the Nigerian society. Ibbi (2014) explained that one of the common complaints by many Nigerians is that Nollywood is gradually introducing some dose of pornography, a total deviation from the culture of Nigerians. This was captured by Oyetimi and Adebayo (2013) who described the reaction of Nigerians thus: “It was therefore an unpretentious and spontaneous irritation by the Nigerian audience that welcomed such gradual and unchecked introduction of pornography into Nollywood movies.” These are some concerns associated with Nollywood films.
Away from complaints by members on the negative themes in Nollywood films, there have been so many cries by state governors across the country over dwindling revenues from the federation accounts and the need for states to boost their revenue bases through internally generated revenues. Tourism is a big money spinner around the world with countries especially those in the Caribbean relying on it for revenue. Films with tourism themes have been known to transform the fortunes of many countries. The popular media of the day influences the appeal of travel destinations and activities through constructing or reinforcing particular images of those destinations, and acting as ‘markers’ (MacCannell, 1999). A research conducted by Olsberg SPL (2007), consultant to the media and creative industries, reveals that several locations around the UK have benefitted from films.
With versed tourism potentials in the country, there is the need to go extra miles in projecting these potentials to the world. Film is a medium that has gained grounds all over the country and with the presence of Nollywood channels on many pay TV platforms, there is the need to partner with filmmakers in order to achieve success in the direction of projecting tourism. What are the respective strategies employed by producers of James Bond films that has continued to attract tourists to the destinations projected? What are Nigerian filmmakers expected to add to the content their productions in order to add tourism flavour? This is coming at a time that the government has started clamouring for film makers to think of producing films with tourism themes so that investors can be wooed to destinations across the country.
Research has been conducted on tourism motivation factors in film. There have also been researches on the various ways film has promoted tourism in countries like the USA, Great Britain, Australia and several other countries. Furthermore, research had been conducted in Africa on how some films in Egypt helped in bringing tourism to that country. However, there is a gap in research especially in the study of why James Bond films encourage tourism. There is also a gap in study on the use of tourism themes in Nollywood films. There is also a gap in research on partnerships going on within the Nigerian film industry. This research is aimed at filling these gaps by doing a comparative study of Nollywood and James Bond films.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the role of film in the promotion of tourism in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
- identify the types of tourism motivating factors used in Nollywood and James Bond films;
- determine the extent to which place, personality, performance, authenticity culture and adventure are used in Nollywood and James Bond films;
- discover why non tourism booting themes are used in Nollywood films
- uncover the impediments (if any) against partnership among stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the types of tourism themes used in Nollywood and James Bond films?
- What is the extent to which place, personality, performance, authenticity culture and adventure are used in Nollywood and James Bond films?
- Why are non-tourism boosting themes used in Nollywood films?
- What are the impediments (if any) against partnership among stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Despite the limitations emanating from the wide gap between the James Bond films and Nollywood films in terms of sophistication, the research used tourism themes in the two films to be able to draw a comparison. The study is significant especially considering the fact that tourism is big business in some countries of the world. The UNWTO’s 2015 report shows that France received 84.5 million tourists in 2015, the USA received 77.5 million, Germany received 35 million, South Africa received 9.2 million and Zambia received 1.8 million. These figures imply that the tourists will contribute to the economy of the countries directly through currency exchange and indirectly by telling other people about the beautiful experiences they had. Nigeria’s economy has been dependent on oil in the past and considering the fall in oil prices, tourism is one of the major areas through which more revenue can come to government if it wants to diversify the economy. To this end, the mass media can be a strong weapon that can be used to convince the public. Film induced tourism is a concept that has worked in several countries of the world. These countries include: New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, the USA, Jamaica, the Bahamas and others. According to Rewtrakunphaiboon (2008), there has been a sharp rise in the number of tourists visiting destinations featured through films and television series which are not directly related to tourism promotion campaigns. Another scholar, Aran (2007) explained that after the release of the Korean film, Stairway to Heaven, the merrygo-round at Lotte World which was featured in the film became a tourists’ attraction among Asian tourists.
Alawode and Sunday (2013) while talking on how Nollywood could be used to boost the image of Nigeria said: “With the view that the Nigerian film industry has grown to become an important phenomenon which has attracted diverse kinds of people and interests as a result of the home video phenomenon, it is expected that the home video could serve as a possible loud speaker for the purpose of projecting the Nigerian image in positive lights just as the advertisers and marketers would.” (p. 110). Far from just projection of image, scholars have decided to project countries as products that need to be placed to attract tourists. According to Hudson and Ritchie (2006), “Just as product placements would influence a viewer’s attitude toward a brand, so too will films have an impact on destination image if the location plays a part in a film.” (p. 388). Owing to the fact that destination images influence tourist behaviour, a destination must be favourably differentiated from its competition and positively positioned in the minds of consumers (Pike and Ryan 2004; Echtner and Ritchie 1991; Joppe, Martin, and Waalen 2001).
Schofield (1996) suggested that contemporary tourists’ organic images of places are shaped through the vicarious consumption of film and television without the perceptual bias of promotional material. In support of this contention, Gundle (2002) discussed how the 1960 hit film La Dolce Vita transformed the image of Rome in Italy. In the minds of the public worldwide, Rome became the city of sin and pleasure, of Liz Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Frank Sinatra, of elegance and nightclubs, of aristocrats and Latin lovers, of fast cars and stylish intellectuals. The image, perpetuated in American films and books, provided Roman tourist industries and fashion houses with a resource that has lasted to this day. Roman glamour became Italian glamour for the world. Based on the rich cultural heritage of the country, Nigeria has more than one area of tourist’s interests in each of the 36 states with some of these sites recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. This was supported by Bankole (2002) when the author explained that the Nigerian Embassy in the United States of America observed that, Nigeria is a potential tourist paradise which boasts of good tropical weather, variety of wildlife, awe-inspiring waterfalls, historical relics, captivating beaches and rolling hills, coupled with the warm-hearted and culturally active populace. In their submission on Nigeria’s tourism potentials, Terwase, Abdul-Talib, Edogbanya, Zengeni, Yerima and Ibrahim (2015) said: “Furthermore, it noted that there are many tourist attractions in Nigeria, spread across the six geopolitical zones and spanning different types of tourism assets such as rocks, plateaus, hills, springs, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, museums, shrines, cultural festivals, parks, gardens, game reserves, zoos, etc.” (p.67-68). Hence this study is significant because of the fact that Nollywood with its global viewership advantage can help in showcasing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and this will lead to a boost in the tourism industry and more foreign exchange for the country in the long run.
This research will contribute to knowledge in the area of making research available on how tourism can be infused in Nollywood themes to boost Nigeria’s tourism prospects. The research will clearly define the various stakeholders in the film induced tourism industry, highlighting the various roles and expectations of stakeholders. The research will serve as a source of information for the academic community, the Nigerian Tourism Board, and even international scholars who would want to further look at tourism within Nollywood and James Bond films. Finally, the research will add to the number of research conducted on film induced tourism, which has been identified as an emerging discipline.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research considered all the 24 James Bond films released from the first edition in 1962 to 2015 as well as Nollywood films that were shot in English and produced between 2000 and 2015. For James Bond films, the 1962 to 2015 is the duration for the production of the entire 24 episodes of the film so far. James Bond films were chosen out of the many films around the world that were shot to trigger tourism because of their consistence in projecting cities, countries, culture, women, wine, exotic lifestyles of countries. Also as will be seen in the literature review, research has shown that James Bond films are tourism motivators over the years. As for the Nollywood films, the choice of 2000 to 2015 is because of the fact that the rise in the level of sophistication in the production of Nigerian films interms of content and quality was defined by the ushering in of the new millennium. The choice of Nollywood films produced in English is because of the status of English as an international language, in addition to the fact that it is the Nigeria’s official language.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
This refers to any element of a film that tend to arouse the interest of a viewer by making him/her to feel like visiting the location. Themes include: women, wine, language, culture, religion, scenery
This refers to home videos, movies produced in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Tourism promotion
This refers to different ways in which tourism is projected within the context of the movies under study.
James Bond Films
This refers to only James Bond films produced by Albert Broccolli’s productions.
Within the context of this study, Nollywood films refer to films produced in English language.
Film induced tourism
This refers to the process where people visit destinations for tourism as a result of how films about such places have influenced them.