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Nepal eyes Bollywood for tourism

world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 00:45 IST
Utpal Parashar

The love-hate relationship between Nepal and the Bollywood film industry is likely to turn a new leaf with the launch of a direct flight connecting Mumbai to Kathmandu from Wednesday.

The Himalayan nation, which was once one of the favourite haunts for film producers from India, is hoping that the only flight between the two cities will aid in promotion of tourism with a ‘flimi’ flavour.

“We hope that with air connectivity bringing both places together, the Mumbai film industry will come to Nepal to shoot films,” said Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board.

On Wednesday, Jet Airways started its inaugural flight between Kathmandu and Mumbai. The flight, a Boeing 737 aircraft will operate five days a week.

“Eminent producer-director Yash Chopra and lyricist Javed Akhtar are already in our board of directors. I am sure their presence will help bring more Bollywood producers to Nepal,” said PK Sinha, vice president, Jet Airways.

The scenic locales of Nepal have graced silver screens of Bollywood films for several decades from Dev Anand’s Hare Krishna Hare Ram to Sonu Nigam’s Love in Nepal.

Hindi films are still very much in demand in theatres and DVDs and VCDs of the latest films are circulated widely. But certain incidents have affected the relationship in recent years.

According to Nepal tourism authorities, there has been a 20 per cent increase in number of tourists from India during October this year in comparison to 2008.