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

TravTalk - India - - Analysis - DENCY MATHEW

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.

Lubaina Sheer­azi

In­dia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Min­istry of Tourism, Oman

Beena Menon

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive In­dia Tourism Ire­land

Ar­turo Or­tiz

Di­rec­tor Tourism Of­fice of Spain, In­dia

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