In September, the Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority hosted the first Monaco Film Festival in Singapore, featuring the work of Christine Oberdorff from Ushuaïa TV and the performances of Zhang Zhang from the Symphony Orchestra.
Oberdorff is a celebrated journalist hailing from France, attending the event to screen her documentary titled "Monaco: Back to the Future", while Zhang, a renowned violinist, came to perform on each day for the event. Both creatives, supported by the municipality of Monaco, were invited to demonstrate and exhibit the primary attraction of Monaco, according to the authority: its rich culture.
With a 5% budgetary commitment annually from the ruling Prince Albert, Monaco considers its culture to be the primary USP and attraction for tourists from all backgrounds.
"The Monaco Film Festival was the first way to reach out to a new clientele, that I explored in the last few years," shared Benoit Badufle, the authority's managing director for Southeast Asia.
While the organisation has traditionally marketed through a channel strategy around travel agents across APAC, Badufle's team has focused on highlighting the traditional assets of Monaco, and partook in this content-marketing strategy in order to attract a younger audience that is more experience driven.
"Cinema is a medium that is loved by everyone," he said. "Whether they are rich or poor, young or old, everybody goes to the cinema, don't they? I hope it will generate more interest towards Monaco and it will bring more people to visit and stay in our beautiful tiny principality in the south of France."
In an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, Corinne Kiabski, the authority's press and communications director, shared that Monaco's market orientation has traditionally been fixated on positioning around a luxury destination, adding that "we are small, most of our hotels are four and five stars, so we cannot welcome mass market."
With 10 offices spanning the globe, the organisation has tourism-marketing teams tasked with media relations and signing on travel agencies. The team in Asia is responsible for 11 markets: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philipines, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Greater China, and Mainland China.
In all markets, travel agencies are the channel for sales and marketing, bundling deals for tourists, guided with the partner program of the Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority.
The film festival represents one of the first attempts to engage a business-to-consumer channel.