The announcement was made in a press conference at the screen tourism area of B-Travel in Barcelona
Tarragona and the short-film festival Ibicine in Ibiza have been chosen to represent Spain in the movie tourism routes across Europe of the MovieTravel project. The official announcement was made on Friday March 22 by Inmedia, which represents Spain in the FAMOUS consortium, at an event at the tourism show B-Travel in Barcelona. Representatives from Tarragona, Ibiza and the Catalan Board of Tourism also attended the event.
As candidates to represent Spain, Tarragona and Ibiza competed with locations such as the mountains of Tramuntana in Mallorca and the city of Toledo. «To have been chosen is very important to Tarragona,» said the councillor for tourism, Inmaculada Rodriguez, after it was announced that the city was the winner in the category of locations. The councillor asserted the tourist management of Tarragona’s heritage and recalled that the city is, today, the Catalan town that gets more audio-visual productions right after the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Tarragona has been chosen for its important archaeological legacy and because it has become one of the most requested Catalan stages nationally and internationally. The Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro selected it for his production Julia’s Eyes, for instance.
In the category of cinematographic exhibitions, the short film festival Ibicine stood up before the International Fantastic Film Festival of Sitges or the MUCES (European Film Festival City of Segovia). Its founder, Helher Escribano, explained how important it is for Ibicine’s organization to be part of an European network like MovieTravel, especially now that the festival has opened five international categories. “This will give us more visibility and, at the same time, will encourage more people to come to our island,» Escribano said. «Stimulating the cultural life of Ibiza has always been one of our purposes,» added Irene Torres, co-director of the festival. «We are very attached to the island; it is the island for which we want to work, organizing conferences, screenings, ceremonies… This is how we unite culture and professionals,» stated Torres.
Ibicine has been selected for its commitment to short films and for giving voice to new talents and audio-visual values. It is a festival that takes place throughout the year, which contributes to tourism deseasonalisation and to the diffusion of the local life of the island, as the councillor for the promotion of Santa Eulàlia del Riu, Carmen Ferrer, emphasized. The councillor, who attended the event to support the candidacy of her town, recalled that initiatives such as Ibicine enable the island to «lengthen the tourism season».
The tourism of the future
The executive director of the Catalan Tourism Board (ACT), Patrick Torrent, congratulated the representatives of the destinations and went about the clues of a sustainable tourism model for the years to come, which indeed include movie tourism. «Cinema», Torrent continued, «is a tremendously useful tool to create an imaginary and to build an emotional bond.» For a long time, the Catalan Tourism Board has supported its marketing strategies with films, in the frame of different initiatives.
Patrick Torrent and the second vice president of the Insular Council of Ibiza, Marta Díaz, were in charge of opening the envelopes that contained the name of the winning destinations. The presentation also had the support of the Catalonia Film Commission and the Tarragona Film Office, and was sponsored by the director of B-Travel, Marta Serra. Serra, who opened the event, said it was «an honour» to host the presentation of MovieTravel in a show like B-Travel , where «the travel experience of the final public has a fundamental value».