Ned Kelly v The Man From Snowy River: which film-induced destination brand to choose?
journal contributionposted on 05.06.2017, 03:16 authored by Frost, Warwick
In 2006 Tourism Victoria announced plans to change the destination brand for the north-east of the state of Victoria in Australia. Formerly 'Legends, Wine and High Country', the new brand will be 'Victoria’s High Country'. In adopting this new brand, Tourism Victoria is linking this region with the popular adventure film The Man From Snowy River (1982). Whilst a fictional story, the film's historical background is the nineteenth century mountain cattleman of the area. The choice of this brand projects the mountain cattlemen of the high country as the defining cultural heritage of the region. However, the area also has another strong cultural heritage which has been projected widely through film, art, music and other media. This is the bushranger Ned Kelly. For many years the area has been unofficially known as Kelly Country. The choice being made by Tourism Victoria is also being duplicated by Destination Marketing Organisations elsewhere. In choosing to base a destination's brand on a particular film, they are also choosing to not utilise other potential films or sources. Whatever film is chosen for a destination image, it comes with certain cultural baggage. Films, and the stories they are based on, have meanings which differ markedly from person to person. Projected into the present and utilised for a destination brand they may offer contested or dissonant views of the region's cultural heritage. In choosing one film, there is also a choice of which cultural heritage is preferred.