Tell Your Video Story

[Above: Shooting the concept video in Wisconsin. Photo: Erika Gilsdorf]

We Can Help You Find Funding and Shoot Your Stewardship Successes

The DSC has launched a program to help destinations tell their success stories by means of the most rapidly growing and influential medium of all: video. We will work with you to seek independent funding, so there need be no charge to the destination. The title for the series is:

“The World’s Inspiring Places”

Our most recent project, an expedition to the Adriatic coast of the Balkans, explores why the region is special and worth saving, where tourism is going wrong, and how it can go right. This post shows you several of the 1-2-minute interviews that showcase the heroes working for a more beneficial type of tourism and destination stewardship. Here, for example, is Jack Delf, chairman of the Western Balkans Geotourism Network, on why tourism is out of control on the coast of Montenegro. The only solution, he says, is to emphasize value instead of volume:

The entire Western Balkans expedition and videos were detailed on National Geographic’s now discontinued Open Explorer.

Our pilot project released early in 2018. It provides a traveler’s-eye view of the Sierra Gorda in Mexico and of the stewardship success story that has turned this impoverished rural area into a global model for community engagement in conservation and ecotourism. In this case, two American Millennials—college buddies—serve as our hosts. In this case, they discover how their very presence as travelers helps the community, and thereby helps protect the region’s beautiful mountain ecosystems. Check out the brief trailer:

Our pilot shows how. You can now see the Sierra Gorda videos on our World’s Inspiring Places YouTube channel. There are several versions that you can use:

The program can also include online print stories for wide distribution. For Sierra Gorda, see DSC Director Jonathan Tourtellot’s post “Your Trip Can Help Protect Your Destination” on Medium.

Why video?

Short-form videos now power social media. They help tourists make travel decisions. They help practitioners learn from each other. They help governments learn how and where to find needed methods and expertise.

Video is a mega trend, in a decade, video will look like as big a shift in the way we share and communicate as mobile has been. —Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Video works. According to Insivia, using video in various forms has almost become a staple in digital marketing tactics:

  • By 2017, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic.
  • 55% of people watch videos online every day.
  • Including video in a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter.
  • 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Why destination stewardship?

Our goal is not standard promotional videos, but rather a video series that showcases stewardship success stories—ways in which people have helped protect and enhance a distinctive natural and cultural assets of a place, and thus enrich both the travel experience and local quality of life. For true tourism, the place itself is the ultimate product. We want the world to better understand that relationship.

The video format is flexible. We can use one or more hosts, as in Sierra Gorda, or a pure documentary format with no host—just as long as we can show off good stewardship as seen from the traveler’s point of view.

To learn more, take a look at our brief Video Pilot Invitation deck (pdf).

Concept Video For another example (with the same young hosts) of a success story, take a look at our original concept video. Shot off-season in November, young travelers have fun while learning about the rescue an endangered trout stream, Wisconsin’s Kinnickinnic River, known among locals and anglers as “the Kinni.” You can watch it as a short clip, 15 seconds to a minute, suitable for social media—

—or longer, up to 4 minutes, suitable for Youtube and websites:

Under the leadership of DSC video producer Erika Gilsdorf,


. . . for your stewardship success story to be featured as the next World’s Inspiring Place in the online series. We will assist with arranging the necessary tax-deductible funding and distribution options. There are lots of ways to do this. For a conversation and more details, contact us:



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