Today, tourism and migration have become part of modern life. And since the laws of economics dictate that where there are people, there are finances and other resources, the ability of a city, region or even an entire country to attract and retain tourists, investors, businesses, workers, etc. comes to the fore. Cities for education, cities for leisure and tourism, cities for family life – they all need their own brand. Cities with a rich historical heritage of architecture, museums and legends, megacities with an open labour market, or resorts where the sea splashes or healing springs flow surely have more ways to build a promotional strategy. But what can the rest of us do?

One of the best options is to attract talented and creative people who will do the rest. Think of a place you’ve never been but would love to visit. Why would you want to go there? You may not be attracted by a specific destination, but by a romantic image of that place, such as Paris – the city of love, Rome – the Eternal City, New York – the city of business, Bali – peace and harmony. This list could go on and on. And we are not talking about specific indicators, but about the image of different places that is used as a kind of cliché in books, films, music videos, photo shoots for fashion magazines and even on the wallpaper of mobile phones and the covers of notebooks.

Today, the most effective medium is video in the broadest sense of the word. Films, series, TV shows, vlogs, stories, riles – all have become part of visual storytelling. The more interesting video content that is made about a place, the more likely it is to be popular with tourists. Hertfordshire Press has a successful case study of this format in its history. In 2013, the book “Igor Savitsky: Artist, Collector, Museum Founder” dedicated to the Savitsky Museum in Nukus, Uzbekistan, was published. The museum is located “in the middle of nowhere”, in the desert, and at the time of the book’s publication it was going through some bad times. But everything changed when Amanda Pope and Chavdar Georgiev got hold of the book and turned it into a beautiful film, ‘The Desert of Forbidden Art’, which drew the world’s attention to this treasure trove of unique examples of culture and art. Today, the Savitsky Museum in Nukus is one of the most sought-after destinations in Uzbekistan, especially among connoisseurs of Orientalism and the Soviet avant-garde.

Incidentally, one of the key factors in the case of video content is the presence of celebrities involved in the project. In the case of “The Desert of Forbidden Art”, the initial “star” cast of Edward Asner, Sally Field and Ben Kingsley, as well as directors with a name in the industry, was an advantage. But not every city can afford to host a Hollywood film crew. But it can pay for the travel, accommodation and fees of just one person, without whom no video sequence can capture the viewer’s attention. And that’s… a writer.

Popular writers attract no less attention than film stars, and the format of film adaptation is not losing its relevance. So, creating a whole event around the arrival of a famous writer, the writing of a story, the filming of a film or TV series (fortunately it is possible to find a film crew in almost every region) and its release will in itself draw attention to the destination.

Hertfordshire Press, in partnership with the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), has already launched the ‘Like a Movie’ project and is ready to work with the regions. If you would like to be involved in this project, please send your application to