Indian films on foreign land!
Films no longer only provide passive entertainment, but also performs the role of an active destination guide. As more and more Indian films are exploring foreign locations, more Indians too are visiting the locations that their favourite movies are shot
India makes up an ever-expanding market for our group, and we are delighted to participate in a marketing opportunity to reach this target
Andrew Langston Vice President for Hotel Operations Asia
PacificBanyan Tree Hotels and Resorts
Inthe past, celebs were hired to act as ambassadors for destinations to help boost tourism. While this practice is still prevalent, it has been observed that in the recent years, the most impactful way to boost tourism to any country is by partnering with a Bollywood movie. While Yash Chopra has been leading the frontier by promoting Switzerland in most of his movies, recently, a lot of other tourism boards too have partnered with Bollywood movies to promote their countries.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Ek Tha Tiger, Don 2, Cocktail, etc, are some of the movies that were associated with Spain, Ireland, Berlin and South Africa respectively. And most of these associations have been very fruitful for these destinations. Not only have the movies showcased these destinations well, it also attracted a lot of eye- balls among Indians. So is this the new marketing brainwave used by tourism boards to highlight their destinations and does it really led to increase in arrivals?
It definitely causes a positive impetus in the market, feels most tourism boards. The box office success of the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara led to a fillip of Indian arrivals in Spain. “We saw a rise of 50 per cent in Indian arrivals in Spain since the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ was released. Indians have also extended the number of days spent in Spain from 6 nights 7 days to 10 nights 11 days. Having shot in beautiful locations all across Spain, the movie helped promote our various destinations as well as highlight our culture, tradition and food. We also noticed that more Indians are opting for road trips in Spain since the movie showcased the lead actors embark on a road trip in Spain. After the movie released, we got a lot of inquiries and calls from travel agents across India who wanted to know more about Spain. Travel agents who earlier showed no interest in Spain have now got themselves at least one itinerary of Spain with them,” says Arturo Ortiz, Director, Tourism Office of Spain, India
South Africa also saw an increase in Indian arrivals since the movie Cocktail was released. Many Indians have even demanded a ‘Cocktail’ itinerary from tour agents. Ireland is another such destination that gained from the screenplay success of the movie Ek Tha Tiger. “We feel there is a strong linkage between films and tourism and hence we wanted to use the platform of a movie to promote Ireland. The partnership has worked well for us as Ireland got noticed well among Indians. We plan to continue this association with Bollywood and hope to tie up with more movies,” says Beena Menon, Representative India, Tourism Ireland
This trend is now been keenly followed by newer destinations who also feel the quickest and easiest means of attracting attention is by branding itself with a Bollywood film. And cashing on this trend, the Ministry of Tourism, Oman has collaborated with Balaji Telefilms to shoot a part of Balaji produced movie Once Upon a Time in Mumbai…Again in Oman. “This is a concerted effort to create an aspiration for travel to Oman. By creating inroads into Bollywood, we hope to maximize visibility for the destination and promote it as a preferred choice amongst travellers for vacations. We hope Oman gets noticed as much as the other destinations after the movie releases. Around the release time, we will be promoting Oman more aggressively,” says Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative for the Ministry of Tourism, Oman
In fact, the success of destinations turning into hot spots through movie tie-ups has even led to hotels and resorts across the globe to join the bandwagon. Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has used Karan Johar’s Student of The Year movie to promote itself in the Indian market as its property is extensively featured in the film. Calling the movie’s shoot at Banyan Tree Samui a brilliant opportunity for the resort, Andrew Langston, Vice President for Hotel Operations Asia Pacific said, “Banyan Tree Samui’s collaboration with the cast and crew of Student of the Year was a fruitful one. We are honoured to be the venue of choice for this showcase of some of India’s brightest young talent. India makes up a large and ever-expanding market for our group, and we are delighted to participate in a non-traditional marketing opportunity to reach this target demographic.”
So it has been observed that shooting a film in an exotic location adds to the visual appeal of the movie. It also makes Indians pack their bags and travel to the same location where their favourite actors were shooting.
India Representative for the Ministry of Tourism, Oman
Representative India Tourism Ireland
Director Tourism Office of Spain, India