Ireland tuns to Bollywood to boost tourism sector | india | Hindustan Times
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Ireland tuns to Bollywood to boost tourism sector

A high-level business delegation accompanying Bertie Ahern has lined up meetings with top Bollywood producers.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 11:22 IST

Ireland has turned to Bollywood to boost its tourism sector by attracting a huge chunk of Indian travellers visiting Europe to the emerald isles, which it seeks to position as a "quality destination."

A high-level business delegation accompanying Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has lined up meetings with top Bollywood producers during the Mumbai leg of their visit beginning on Friday.

"Over 75,000 Indians visit Switzerland, a favourite location with many a Bollywood producer and a full length feature film shot in Ireland may work wonders for tourism in Ireland," Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism John O'Donaghue told in Bangalore.

He said his meetings with production houses in Mumbai would focus on shooting a full length feature film in Ireland.

"We have exotic locales -- landscapes and seascapes -- and a very professional co-production crew.

"Eleven Indian films have been shot in Ireland since 2003 and my country is ready to offer tax benefits to Indian producers shooting a full length feature film in Ireland," O'Donaghue said.

Tourism Ireland has opened an office in Mumbai to liase with tourists and film producers keen to visit Ireland.

According to current figures, only 7,000 Indian travellers visit Ireland annually as against nearly 5,00,000 travellers to United Kingdom.

O'Donaghue said though Ireland is a small country it has a strong and vibrant tourism sector with nearly 8 million visitors every year.