Statistics show that video is one of the most important tools for tourism marketing. According the European Audiovisual Observatory “The audiovisual sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the European economy and a leading global market”. In a Google research in 2014, 66% of people reported watching videos online while thinking about taking a trip. 64% of respondents used the online video to help them choose a destination and 57% watched the video to help them choose accommodations for their trip.
The first Festival dedicated to the tourism audiovisuals emerges in 1967, the Tourfilm Karlovy Vary, in Spindleruv Mlyn, later transferred to the beautiful city of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. But in 1957, 1962 and 1968 there were festivals with at least one category devoted to tourism films, the New York Festival’s International TV & Film Awards, the Internationale Wirtschaftsfilmtage in Vienna, Austria, and the US International Film & Video Festival in Chicago later transferred to Los Angeles respectively.
Rudolf Kammel and Alexander V. Kammel, in 1989, on the occasion of the 8th International Tourism Film Festival “Festival of Festivals” in Vienna, invited the representatives of the most important festivals at the time to form a festival committee, the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT), as an initiative of Filmservice, to create an international network of tourism film festivals.
Tourism Film Festivals are events to target a specific unique market segment. There are several advantages of these niche events. One of the benefits of this niche market is that there is no or little competition. The Grand Prix CIFFT Circuit, currently with nineteen festivals around the world, is virtually the market leader, and each of its members has the same status in their countries with a worldwide exposure.
Due to the huge growth of the tourism audiovisual industry, as well as the emergence of new tourism film festivals, CIFFT has decided to establish a new label. “In cooperation with CIFFT“ label allows festivals that seek to obtain the status of official member of the Committee or benefit from the international network and expertise of CIFFT. The “In cooperation with CIFFT” label defines Festivals not being members (yet) but respecting the CIFFT Guidelines for Tourism Film Festivals benefitting from the international network and expertise of CIFFT. The committee is endorsed by: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), European Travel Commission (ETC), Central America Tourism Organization (CATA) and Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).