Press Release

Ammerland, 12th March 2005
No. 04a/2005
68 lines at 60 strokes

TOURA D'OR- Film Contest 2004
Sustainable Tourism in Film and Television Contributions

Today, Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development) held an award ceremony for the winners of TOURA D'OR 2004 Film Contest at the International Tourism Exchange Berlin (Internationale Tourismusbörse, ITB). In the context of the film contest for promotion of sustainable tourism, which has been held every second year since 1990, the TOURA D'OR prize was awarded to two contributions. In addition, one film was selected for the special "Pedagogy" award of the Conference of non-commercial film distributors (Konferenz der Landesfilmdienste). This year's TOURA D'OR Film Contest judged entries from 48 contestants.
As Studienkreis Managing Director Dietlind von Laßberg reported, the jurors examined an above-average number of interesting submissions in the area of "Information and Documentary Films"; as well as a growing number of entries in the "Magazine and Service Contributions". However, as in the previous year, no prizes were awarded in the categories "Promotion films and advertising spots" and "Other kinds of productions".
The TOURA D'OR prize winners in the category of "Information and Documentary Films" included the film contribution of Bettina Erhard: Electricity for the Sherpas - Modern Times on Mount Everest (Eco Himal, bce Film, 29 minutes, German, 2004). The Austrian documentary was selected for its extraordinary description of the traditional way of life of the Sherpa ethnic group in Nepal, but also its interrelationships and its dependency of tourism in the Mount Everest Region. The film shows how a small electrical power station has changed the everyday life of the Sherpas. The social, economic and ecological consequences of tourism in the Himalaya are documented with authenticity and great sensitivity. In the category of "Magazine and Service Contributions" the TOURA D'OR was awarded to Julia Knipp for her contribution about an organized tour of the Sahara. Title: With the Tuareg Through Morocco (Hessischer Rundfunk, Editorial Service /Travel, 28 minutes, German, 2004). The report focuses on the tourism project of "Societé Renard Blue Tuareg", which offers two-week desert tours in Morocco (and was already selected as a winner of the TO DO! 2002). It presents various film sequences of a camel expedition, during which travellers are familiarized with desert conditions by the local guides. This is how the group of vacationing tourists learns about the living conditions of the Nomads. A visit to a school under construction located in the middle of the desert provides a clear illustration of the use of funds received from tourism. With the Tuareg through Morocco fulfils the contest criteria to a large extent, because it documents a successful case of socially responsible and environmentally-compatible tourism.
The "Special Pedagogy Award of the Conference of Regional Film Services" went to Vanessa Nöcker's contribution: The Maldives - Luxury Island Banyan Tree (Norddeutscher Rundfunk - Culture, 43 minutes, German, 2003). The documentary particularly satisfies the TOURA D'OR criteria, which call for contributions that provide a glimpse behind the tourist scenes and also provide constructive criticism of the negative aspects and effects of tourism and pursue new and interesting pedagogical approaches. This was the rationale for awarding the prize.
The Tsunami disaster last December also made headlines in the region of the Atolls of the Maldives, which is otherwise described as a tourist paradise. The film about Banyan Tree shows how such a paradise is created. The local luxury is imported and the logistics and infrastructure are extremely difficult. The noteworthy aspect of the contribution is the exemplary glimpse it offers behind the tourist scenes, in the logistics of a luxury hotel, the employees' daily routine, and their private lives. In her laudation, Tamina Kallert emphasized that "the three premiered films cover the range of sustainable and responsible tourism in an extraordinary fashion. The presentation of the positive effects of the holiday trade on the Himalaya, human experiences in the Sahara, and critical insights into the working world of the hotel staff demonstrates in an extraordinary way what film-making can achieve. The films pose a demand for greater tourist awareness and sensitivity - because this is a prerequisite for sustainable tourism."

For detailed project descriptions with rationales for the awards see:


Responsible for the text: Klaus Betz


The TOURA D'OR will again invite
submissions of new entries in the
spring 2006 and will be organized by:

Institute for Tourism and
Development e.V., Ammerland

In co-operation with:

Foreigners Commissioner of the land of

Federal Ministry for Economic Co-
operation and Development

The Protestant Churches' Development
Services (EED) - Tourism Watch

Non-Profit Educational Programme
North-South-Network of the
Confederation of German Trade Unions

Catholic Foreign Office of the German
Bishops' Conference

Conference of non-commercial film

Austrian Development Cooperation in
the Foreign Ministry/respect