Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bollywood, thou art the best travel influencer!

It's become a pattern now. A big banner movie with good star cast shot in a beautiful destination is always followed by high tourist footfalls to that place.

Tourism boards, especially the international ones, have caught on to that and are looking at it as the basket where they can put all their eggs. Or at least most of them. Spain did that with 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' and once they saw tourist arrivals shoot up, they cut their budgets elsewhere.

But given that over 60 percent of Indians tend to get influenced by Bollywood, aspiring to travel to specific locations shown in the movies, it could translate to really huge numbers for destinations.

Tourism Australia did that in a small way with 'Shaadi Ke Side Effects' but i don't think they have been successful. An unnecessary song in an okay-type movie isn't enough. Still, it doesn't belie the fact that Bollywood is really the ultimate road to tourist footfalls. 

Lonely Planet's travel guide titled 'Filmi Escapes - Travel With The Movies' that was released some months ago sees India through the eyes of Indian filmmakers who have presented beautiful locations through their craft

The 344-page guide, priced at Rs 595, lists some must-see sights and experiences of over 20 domestic destinations like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Shimla, Kasauli, Nainital, Amritsar, Kashmir, Ladakh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Mumbai, the Western Ghats, Goa, Gujarat, Kolkata, Darjeeling and Ooty.

It also includes interviews of film personalities such as Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Dibakar Banerjee, Nargis Fakhri, Muzaffar Ali and Raima Sen who share their favourite destinations and films. 

The guide co-incided with Bollywood celebrating 100 years. It also includes information on hotels, transport, food and sightseeing accompanied by interesting trivia, anecdotes and photographs. Movie buffs who like to travel may find it interesting.  

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