Press Information

Tutzing, 1st March, 2011
No. 2a/2011

TOURA D'OR Film Contest 2010 Sustainable Tourism in Film and TV Productions

At the 45th International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin, Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development) will honour three TOURA D'OR award winners. A total of 42 film productions had been submitted for the 11th contest round which had been announced in 2010. The laudation of the winners will be held by WDR presenter Bettina Böttinger ("Kölner Treff").
The TOURA D'OR trophy will be awarded to: the Lunam Docs production of a documentary filmed in Uganda, Mbambu and the mountains of the moon, as well as the WDR service contribution Ein Dorf wird zum Hotel (A village turns into a hotel, Switzerland). The Special Award in "Education" of Konferenz der Landesfilmdienste (Conference Regional Film Services) as well as a TOURA D'OR 2010 commendation go to the film Costa Rica - Aufbruch im Paradies (paradise on the move), submitted by SWR.
The TOURA D'OR Film Contest for Sustainable Tourism has been organised since 1990. Every other year, it gives recognition to film and TV productions that promote socially responsible, environmentally compatible and sustainable tourism.

The TOURA D´OR honours film productions that promote socially responsible, environmentally compatible and sustainable tourism.

Entries for the contest should

  • promote a kind of tourism that minimizes harmful effects on people, society, culture and nature of the host countries;
  • encourage travellers to look behind the tourist scene so as to better understand the everyday realities of the host countries;
  • encourage tourists to seek the encounter with the population of the host country on a basis of mutual respect;
  • assist people in adopting an appropriate and sensitive attitude towards the host country and its people;
  • illustrate positive examples of socially responsible, environmentally compatible and therefore sustainable tourism projects, products and services;
  • critically, yet constructively assess and deal with negative aspects and impacts of tourism.
Amateur films may not be entered for the contest.


The TOURA D'OR will be announced again in spring 2012.

In Mbambu and the mountains of the moon (Lunam Docs, 50 minutes, English, 2010) the Serbian film makers Lucian and Natasa Muntean from Novi Sad portray a 16 year old girl named Mbambu. She lives in the small village of Kilembe, at the foot of the Rwenzori mountains in Uganda. Mbambu would like to finish her school, which costs more than the family can afford. The girl therefore got the idea to work as a tourist guide in the mountains to earn the money needed.
The film provides insights into the every day life in a village at the foot of the Rwenzori mountains, the "mountains of the moon", a region in Uganda that has been developed for tourism. It documents the religious and spiritual conditions, but also the dreams of Mbambu's family - and the production looks at problems in community development.
The mother and grandmother discuss with Mbambu what she may expect and what kind of plans she may make for the future. However, they also talk about the difficulties of breaking with a traditional outlook on life - especially in a job like that of a tourist guide.
The discussions give insightful ideas about the strangers and travellers. Interestingly, tourists themselves do not feature in the film at all. They are a projection of a better life; they are supposed to be the source of a little more prosperity.

Another TOURA D'OR 2010 goes to the service contribution Ein Dorf wird zum Hotel by Micha Hektor Haarkötter (Westdeutscher Rundfunk/ Servicezeit: Mobil, 6 min. 33 sec., German, 2009).
The film shows that even Switzerland is faced with difficulties once in a while, for example in the Engadin region. The small village of Vnà is threatened with depopulation due to emigration to economically more attractive regions: More than half of the houses are now vacant; the inhabitants went to look for livelihood options elsewhere. The idea that can be a solution: The whole village is turned into a decentralised hotel. The former guesthouse, private houses and the tollhouse are carefully being improved and renovated in local architectural style, guest rooms are being furnished.
Vnà is meant to be a "hotel" and "cultural project" at the same time. Guests can combine nature-based recreation in the attractive mountains of the Engadin with participation in village life. Not all of the inhabitants of Vnà like the new fuss that is being made about their quiet hamlet. They would like to see a more intensive exchange, and joint activities of tourists and local people.
The short film by Micha Hektor Haarkötter has been designed to be jaunty, also thanks to Flurin Carviezel, a music cabaret artist from the community who comments on the idea of "Hotel Vnà" in a lively and funny manner. The film describes the concept of socially responsible and sustainable tourism that demands and promotes encounters between local people and holiday makers.

The "Special Award in 'Education' of the Conference of Regional Film Services" and a TOURA D´OR 2010 commendation in the category "Informational films and documentaries" go to the SWR film Costa Rica - Aufbruch im Paradies by Willy Meyer (Südwestrundfunk/Redaktion Länder-Menschen-Abenteuer, 43 min. 38 sec., German, 2008).
Costa Rica is said to be a model for considerate, sustainable, and environmentally friendly tourism. Almost one third of the former Spanish colony is made up of national parks and protected areas. Willy Meyer reports on a number of different projects. The unique flora and fauna is an attraction for rich tourists. Accordingly, more and more guest houses, so-called eco-lodges, are being set up in a cautious manner.
The film presents classical and best practice measures for an environmentally friendly tourism that minimizes adverse impacts on the people, societies, culture, and nature. At the same time, the positive effects of job creation and generation of secure incomes are being documented. The "Paradise on the Move" is being described in a comprehensible manner.
The production of the film was demanding, and the film includes impressive nature footage. It provides a good overview of the various efforts made to promote eco and/or sustainable tourism and it is an illustrative example of tangible work on alternative forms of travel.

Responsible for the text: Klaus Betz
English translation: Christina Kamp

Organiser of the TOURA D'OR Film Contest for Sustainable Tourism:

Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V.
Hauptstraße 35, D - 82327 Tutzing
Phone. +49-(0)8158-9053970, Fax: +49-(0)8158-9053971
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