Bollywood producers interact with travel operators to promote tourism in Kashmir
Bollywood producers, who are on a four-day tour of the Kashmir valley, interacted with tour and travel operators on Saturday in an attempt to revive film shootings and promote film tourism here.
GN Itoo, director of tourism in Kashmir conveyed that rediscovering Kashmir is the need of the hour at present. He said, "The relationship between Kashmir and Bollywood is not new. There are more than 60 hit Indian movies that have represented Kashmir on an international level. Tourism has also played a major role in publicising the scenic beauty of the state."
"However, several programs which have been organized lately by the department have not given the result up the mark. But, this conference which has been arranged with the Bollywood delegates will hopefully serve the expected in near future."
Kashmir is proclaimed to be a "photographers paradise" and during the past, maximum filmmakers had preferred the state to shoot their films.
During the interaction, Abhijeet Patil, a prominent tour and travel operator from Mumbai highlighted the importance of reviving film shootings in the valley and also emphasized the need of training the local talent. He said, "Here we have a federation that will train your children about cinema. This will benefit them in developing their skills, will generate employment in the state and also develop the feeling of brotherhood."
Many celebrities have visited Kashmir to shoot movies due to its picturesque views. But due to the Covid-19 induced pandemic threat, all activities including film shootings, tourism events, cultural events were stopped by authorities.
To recreate the same atmosphere and promote the state tourism, renowned film producer Aashish Singh, who has already shot movies like 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' in Kashmir, said the valley provides a perfect package to the filmmakers for shooting and has the potential of becoming the shooting destination for the world.
"I wish the inner competition like Srinagar tourism, Gulmarg tourism, and more would come into practice. For marketing, we should start mapping the infrastructure of the state and the day is not far when it will become the shooting destination for the world," Singh added.
Meena Ayer, CEO of Ajay Devgan Productions also stated that Kashmir has untapped locations and offers much more scenic beauty than even Switzerland.
It is not only the scenic beauty for what the state is famous for, but also for offering exotic food, said chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who runs his own online cookery show 'Khana Khazana'. He said, "We all know that Kashmir is heavenly beautiful but a lesser-known fact is that after Hyderabad and Goa, Kashmir is among the top three places of the country for exotic food. Kashmir can also be promoted for food tourism and there is a need for a national campaign to promote the state's appetizing food."
The Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd praised the pristine beauty of Gulmarg and expressed a keen desire to shoot for their upcoming film projects at various locations in Kashmir.
Kashmir has been traditionally a favourite spot for the Bollywood who have shot scores of movies like 'Raazi', 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan', 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', 'Haider' and also old classics like (1961) Junglee, (1964) Kashmir Ki Kali, (1965) Mere Sanam, (1965) Jab Jab Phool Khile, and more at Dal Lake, Srinagar's Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg and Pahalgam.