The market for Bollywood films is much more global than that of other countries. This is why these films go in for a lot of promotional telecasting focusing on their foreign shooting locations. An important aspect is that in whichever countries the shooting of Bollywood films take place, the tourism industry of the host countries earns a lot of profit. Many countries have recognised this fact and have expressed their interest in Bollywood films being shot at their famous tourist locales. In this context, a Romanian businessman said that Bollywood is not only a means of entertainment but also a very big medium of business. He has invited film producers from Bollywood to shoot films in Romania. According to him, if the shooting of Bollywood films is done in Romania, then the country would get a lot of publicity and the places where the shooting took place would attract tourists which would definitely help the tourism industry.
The ‘growth in tourism through films’ formula seems to be confined largely to foreign countries. In contrast, our country stands on a different platform, because shooting films here in India often means critical problems for the film producers in terms of, for example, getting permission for shooting their films at any of the monuments or tourist destinations. This is the reason why, even though India has an abundance of beautiful locations and tourist destinations, very few films are shot at these places.
People in Maldives also agreed that when Bollywood films were shot in the Maldives, it provided a boost to the tourism industry. The shooting of the Hrithik Roshan starrer, ‘Kites’, took place in the Maldives, and yielded considerable profit to the local tourism industry. To attract the people of B Town, the Egyptian tourism industry made Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley their Brand Ambassador. In any case, the shooting of Bollywood films amidst the ancient pyramids of Egypt has been prevalent for some time now, and the popularity of the country as a locale for Bollywood films is increasing day by day. A photo shoot by Celina Jaitley near the pyramids of Egypt attracted a lot of people from the Arts Society. Along with Bollywood films and personalities and the Arts Society, the Egyptian Government too has started taking initiatives to make their country a popular destination in the minds of the common people as well. Aishwarya Rai and Prashant, who roamed around the pyramids of Egypt during their sequence for the song ‘Ajooba Hai’, from the film ‘Jeans’, attracted a lot of publicity. After this, the song, ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’, from the film ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol also gained a lot of popularity. The pyramids of Egypt continued gaining popularity as a locale from the songs ‘Teri Ore’ and ‘Jee Karda’ from the film ‘Singh Is King’.
But this ‘growth in tourism through films’ formula seems to be confined largely to foreign countries. In contrast, our country stands on a different platform, because shooting films here in India often means critical problems for the film producers in terms of, for example, getting permission for shooting their films at any of the monuments or tourist destinations. This is the reason why, even though India has an abundance of beautiful locations and tourist destinations, very few films are shot at these places. But the films which are shot in India offer support to the ‘spurt in tourism’ aspect. For example, most of the shooting for the film ‘Veer’ was done in Jaipur in Rajasthan. After the shooting of the film, there was a lot of talk about the beauty of the location and tourism in the state increased dramatically. There is no shortage of such examples. Actually, the logic behind the growth in tourism factor is quite simple. Firstly, on hearing that a film is being shot at a certain location, many people reach the spot to get a glimpse of the actors and the process of a shooting a film. Secondly, after the film is released, many people, after watching the movie, desire to have a look at the shooting locations. Considering the immense interest that Bollywood films and personalities evoke, the question arises : if foreign countries have recognised the potential for promoting tourism by encouraging the shooting of Bollywood films in their respective countries, why does the Government of our country lag so far behind in this matter? Why don’t they give importance to Bollywood and cash in on the
rewards and advantages of doing so?