Partner with Travellers to Co-Create Videos About Local Culture
Flip the Lens’ Culture Correspondent program brings together digitally-savvy creative travelers, cultural tourism professionals and local artisans and tradition standard-bearers. FTL travelers are not professional filmmakers or vloggers; they are people who enjoy travel and meeting local people, and also like making videos.
With this unique platform, a traveler partners with a local tourism professional to co-produce a video documentary about a dimension of a destination’s local culture. The resulting piece is published on the new and growing Flip the Lens Youtube channel.
The Flip the Lens (FTL) concept is based on long-popular photo tours--we are taking it up a level. Video sharing has surpassed photo posting, and FTL is leveraging the fact that almost all travelers now shoot video with their phones. Did you know 57 million people consider themselves amatuer content creators?
According to market research conducted in March 2022:
- 85% of people shoot videos with their phones when they travel.
- 100% of respondents believe that storytelling is part of being human.
- 87% of people are interested and willing to make a mini-documentary on the local culture of a destination that they travel to if given an opportunity & a platform.
- 89% of people are interested in a platform where they can share a 3-4 minute video about a cultural theme.
We believe partnership with Flip the Lens will help community tourism organizations gain clients who are the "right kind of tourists": interested in your culture and willing to pay for a bespoke tour that is fresh and immersive. The icing on the cake is the visibility for your destination created by the film made by your Flip the Lens client.
We share here answers to commonly-asked questions about the Flip the Lens Culture Correspondent program. If your question isn’t answered here, send us an email to Meg Pier at email@example.com or Mahima Gopalkrishna at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Flip the Lens believes that the silver lining of the COVID-19 phenomenon may well be a greater appreciation for our connectedness, and a deeper desire to explore that kinship as a primary driver of travel. The days of superficial, bucket list “look at me” travel, with its emphasis on the exoticness of a specific scene as a backdrop for self, is over. The lesson has been to slow down, connect, and respect our unique differences and shared humanity. Flip the Lens believes there is a market of people who want to learn about life in other places, and connect with local people in a curious, authentic and respectful way. Why?
- In a recent study, Booking.com found that 58 per cent of travellers agree that it’s important that their trip benefits the local community of their destination, while 29 per cent vow to do more research into how their tourism spend will affect or improve local communities.
- In the same study, 67 per cent told the company that they want the money that they spend when travelling to be fed back into the local community, while 68 per cent want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture.
- A G Adventures survey respondents said the most important factor for people when they travel is that their money benefits local people, at 66 percent globally.
The idea of travelers producing cultural documentaries is an evolution of travel photography tours, a popular tourism niche since 1888. Today, there are more than 225 photography tour operators and travel companies worldwide that specialize in tours that revolve around photography.
Against that backdrop, consider these facts:
- Today, 84% of the world's population has a smartphone. If you have a phone, you are a filmmaker.
- Overall, 60 percent of travelers use social media to showcase their vacation media. This number rises for Millennials—a whopping 90 percent of young travelers share their vacation imagery on social media during their trip.
- YouTube has nearly 2 billion users worldwide.
- According to CrowdRiff, 79% of people say user-generated content (UGC) has had a highly effective impact in their decisions.
- With Flip the Lens, you have access to travelers who are interested in local culture and people. FTL travelers are not professional filmmakers or vloggers; they are people who enjoy travel and also like making videos. Flip the Lens qualifies clients by asking for their agreement to the FTL Code of Values.
- Flip the Lens Culture Correspondent program matches travelers who have an interest in profiling a cultural figure with a tourism professional who has the cultural contacts to bring the experience together and provide the necessary logistical support. Together, you as a tourism professional and FTL Cultural Correspondents identify a cultural theme for the video, based on the traveler's interest. Potential themes could include Archaeology; Architecture; Dance; Festivals; Folk Art; Food; Gardens and Landscape; Language & Legend; Maritime; Music; Spirituality; Textiles; and Visual Arts.
- Then, you identify an interesting, authentic local culture creator who works in the agreed-upon sector and who would be excited to be the subject of a video. Together, the traveler and tourism professional become partners in co-creating a video that accurately depicts the person being featured and the local culture.
- After making introductions, it will be up to each tourism professional to structure the experience and the corresponding fee for the services that will be provided to the travel client. This fee should include fair and appropriate compensation to the cultural figure being interviewed. The Cultural Encounter can be considered a bespoke tour that offers a custom experience involving specialized contacts and knowledge.
- One of the economic challenges to tourism operators is that the business has largely been transactional, concluding when the tourist returns home. With the Flip the Lens Culture Correspondent program, travelers may very likely wish to continue using the tourism professional’s services as they edit their film. For this, the client will pay an agreed-upon hourly fee to their tourism professional.
- Thus, through participating in the FTL Culture Correspondent program, tourism professionals have the potential to continue to earn income after the client has returned home.
- The videos produced by your Cultural Correspondent clients will be published on the Flip the Lens YouTube channel and promoted by FTL on an ongoing basis on social media. This means you are an integral part of creating a video that shines a light on your community and showcases its people and culture. Of course, you and your community can also share and promote the video as well!
- As a Flip the Lens partner, we will work with you to produce a short video that presents your participation in the Cultural Correspondent program, featuring a brief welcome by you with a short description of your destination, followed by 10 very brief video clips of cultural practitioners in your community. Flip the Lens will regularly promote your video on our social media pages, and, of course, you can do the same!
FTL charges a $50 annual membership fee to each tourism partner that includes your logo and website being featured on our partners’ web page.
FTL charges a 15% commission on any trips booked through the Culture Correspondent program.
We cannot make any guarantees or projections but we are invested in the partnership being a success!
Flip the Lens markets its Culture Correspondent program with advertising on YouTube, and promotes videos that appear on the FTL channel on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as through email marketing.
Yes. The interview subject needs to be compensated, and that should be factored into the price you structure for the client for the full experience.
While the interview subject will benefit through being promoted in a video that will appear on YouTube, a regenerative tourism offering means that there is value placed on the time and cultural expertise of the local people being interviewed.
In Meg’s experience reporting on culture, after an interview is over, there are always questions that need answers, facts that need to be checked, and help with translations, especially for closed captioning. In some cases, there may be requests for additional footage or photos.
FTL recommends that you build into the price for each FTL tour 2-3 hours of such post-production services. We also suggest you and your client agree to an hourly rate for any requests that go beyond the time factored into the price agreed to that can be paid for separately.
Meg and Mahima are happy to work with you to create custom social media or advertising campaigns.
You are welcome to share videos from FTL’s YouTube channel as inspirations, as well as social media posts made by FTL.