UK tourism plans a Bollywood summer

Updated on May 28, 2007 03:24 AM IST
Authorities have planned for brightly dressed Indian dancers leading tourists to UK's 'Bollywood' landmarks, writes Vijay Dutt.
None | ByVijay Dutt, London

It is going to be a hot, sizzling Bollywood summer in Britain. Tourism authorities have planned for hordes of brightly dressed Indian dancers leading troupes of tourists to Britain's famous and not-so-famous landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

The British Tourism authority had come out with a Bollywood map a few years ago in which sites where film were shot were shown and directions given how to reach them. Thousands of copies were distributed abroad as well. The belief here is that the growing money muscle of the Indian middle class will boost the number of tourists coming from the country. The number visiting Britain rose by 25 per cent last year, spending £294 million.

Now with Indians spending more than the Japanese for the first time last year, VisitBritain has again drawn up a map featuring dozens of British locations used by directors in 30 Bollywood hits. Among the less well-known attractions are an obscure Surrey football ground and a Slough shopping centre. Molesey FC featured in scenes from the British-made

Bend It Like Beckham

, while Slough's Queensmere centre provided the backdrop for the 2001 Bollywood movie



Then there is among others. Bicester Village shopping centre in Oxfordshire, which featured in the 2001 film

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

, and Dolbadarn Castle in north Wales, used in

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na

in 1998.

Several of the films on the map feature Shahrukh Khan. He is supporting VisitBritain's initiative.

The map will be launched this week ahead of the IIFA weekend being held from June 7 to June 10. "Some 23 million Indians go to see a film every day and you only have to look at the figures to see that more and more of them are being inspired to visit Britain," Tom Wright, the chief executive of VisitBritain told the

Sunday Telegraph


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