Almost 20 years ago, during ITB in Berlin, the well – known business film maker Wolfgang Jo Huschert noticed that budgets in tourism marketing spendings were changing from pictures and big catalogues to scenic films that were shown on comparatively small screens on the booths of tourism destinations. These films soon would be an integral part of that time´s tourism marketing activities.
After long discussions with tourism organizations, filmmakers, producers and marketing experts, the idea grew to organize another film festival – but especially for tourism films… And in 2000, the festival was born under the name “The Golden City Gate” – in German „Das Goldene Stadttor“.
During next year´s ITB there will also be the 20th edition of the the successful festival. Interested parties can submit their contributions starting in October 2019. As part of the ITB Berlin in March 2020, the winners will be honored on stage during the ITB business days.
Over the years and step by step, Wolfgang Jo Huschert has brought the tourism industry with „his“ Golden City Gate into the modern, multimedia age.
One of the reasons for this development was that Huschert – after visiting ITB at the time – stated that films in the tourism industry could not be optimally produced due to the fact that they could only be shown on small monitors.
Huschert himself was an international business film producer at that time, who mainly produced films on 35mm film. Over the years, he received more than 260 business film awards worldwide. In addition, Huschert has been president of the Association of German Business Filmmakers for many years and has also been a member of the jury for the Federal Economic Film Prize of the Federal Ministry of Economics for several years.
The beginning of the “Golden City Gate”
In the spring of 2000, at the ITB, the first competition with just five films from three countries began in an intermediate section of the ITB exhibition halls. At that time, the ITB in Berlin was already one of the largest tourism fairs in the world.
The most parts oft he first award ceremony were improvised. The awards were handmade by Wolfgang Jo Huschert and his wife Ute Huschert. They already were produced in gold, silver and bronze.
Due to the great interest of the tourism industry, an unexpectedly high number of exhibitors was evident at the first show in 2000. At that time like today, exhibitors love to see their own films on the big screen and the reactions of the audience.
In the following years, more and more films were submitted, so that “The Golden City Gate” could build up a real cinema in one of the exhibition halls on the fairground – The „ITB Cinema“. This was made possible with further support from the ITB management. The projection area that time was about 10×7m.
In the first years, the seats were available for 50, then for 100 and later on for 150 people in the audience… and the ITB Cinema was appropriately equipped with red cinema seats. At the edge and in the corridor, there were appr. 350 other spectators during the award ceremony.
Among all the winners there were tourism ministers, mayors and hotel managers, who insisted on receiving the awards in person from the couple Huschert.
Sheik Magtum, CEO of Dubai Tourism, also came with a cast-in leg and a wheelchair to personally accept the award. He then said to the Huscherts “Dubai is always proud to get this special honor”.
20 years and not a bit tired – The Golden City Gate in the preparations for the 20th anniversary
In the nearly 20 years in which “The Golden Gate” already exists, appr. 2,300 films have been submitted from a total of 99 countries around the world to compete in the competition.
Due to the enlargement of formats for tourist offers, which made it into the tourist marketing over the years, the number of categories continued to grow. Above all, it was also possible to integrate digital transformation fairly into the competition.
Today, the international jury in the evaluation process rates on average about 80-130 contributions with tourist content. 45 international jurors from a wide range of disciplines rate the annual submissions in Cologne or in Düsseldorf, Germany.
A VIP jury in Berlin consisting of ambassadors, secretaries of state and top managers are looking for the “Best of the Best” film ou of the first-placed in each category. This best film in the competition receives the “DIAMOND AWARD” during the award ceremony. In recent years, the jury found that the quality of film contributions rises from year to year.
The award ceremony is always a highlight for the exhibitors. During the award ceremony, the photographers take several thousand photos of the winners, which are often used for their own PR activities. In addition, national and international TV teams are present every year and report live about the award ceremony during ITB Berlin.
Sri Lankan Airline has spread a super ad with their won bears in their communication channels, worldwide. The Langkawi region of Malaysia was setting up a highway ad billboard with the won prizes at the airport, at the international exhibition center and in the city center each.
Huschert points out: “According to our calculations of our advertising, the reports on The Golden City Gate in the newspapers, magazines, TV reports reaches several million tourists and interested travelers, who otherwise would not have been reached by the entrants. The name “The Golden City Gate” also carries the names ITB and Berlin into the world!” (Note: numbers exclude YouTube or Facebook, as this can be measured only very inaccurate)
Alone, these individual numbers are an economically priceless and invaluable asset.
Start – on the 20th anniversary
Today “The Golden City Gate” starts its plannings fort he 20th anniversary year. Interested parties can use the website: www.das-goldene-Stadttor.de or www.the-golden-city-gate.com to get information. The registration for the competition will start in October. Registration deadline is February 1, 2020.
This year, interested participants can still use an early bird offer.