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Bollywood goes beyond Switzerland

More countries use Hindi film locales to boost tourism. Gangster preview

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 17:59 IST

Shah Rukh Khan may have immortalised Switzerland in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, mandolin in hand amid lush green fields speckled with yellow blossoms, but things have gone further since.

After Kunal Kohli shoot the upcoming Fanaa  in Poland, tour operators are cashing in by offering packages to the country.

To co-incide with the release of Fanaa, Compact Travels has special tours to Poland, particularly the Zakopane area where the film was shot. The film’s director is not surprised. "This happens in Bollywood. There was a surge in Indian tourism to Amsterdam after I shot Hum Tum there," says Kohli.

Film tourism revolving around Bollywood films is fast catching on. New Zealand, for instance, has had Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia shot on location in the country. Says Kiran Nambiar, country manager, New Zealand Tourism, "The success of Lord of Rings gave rise to a new term, 'Frodo economy', in which films have a direct impact on the economy. Movies shot in the country create awareness about the locales." No wonder then that even Korea, not a traditional Indian tourist destination, is using Gangster to promote tourism to the country.

Sudhanshu Hukku, CEO, Locations, which brings world tourist operators together with filmmakers, says that after Kaho Na Pyar Hai released, tourism to New Zealand grew 10-fold. Kim Jong-Min, CEO, Korea Tourism, says, "We expect Gangster, the first Indian film shot in Korea, to showcase our country’s beauty."