First Ireland welcomed Bollywood, now it's preparing to welcome its fans.
In recent weeks, Indian television has broadcast a visit Ireland campaign featuring two of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif.
According to the Financial Times, the ads were created by Tourism Ireland with footage from Khan and Kaif’s already record breaking movie, Ek Tha Tiger (Once There Was a Tiger), which contains a host of scenes filmed in Ireland.
The film is already on track to become the biggest box office success in Bollywood history and it includes scenes filmed around signature Dublin sights like Temple Bar, Ha’penny Bridge and Stephen’s Green Park. The film introduces us to a character who is a professor at Trinity College where, in Bollywood tradition, a song-and-dance number breaks out.
'For us it’s very clear: Bollywood and cricket are the two things that drive eyeballs in India and Bollywood is a big influence on this country,' Huzan Fraser, India representative for Tourism Ireland, told the Financial Times. So attracting a Bollywood film to come shoot on location is really big, and we can immediately see the results.'
Ireland reportedly provided the production with around $1,000,000 worth of tax incentives, complimentary visas, reduced or free location fees and general assistance. The results have been almost instant, in the six days since the movie launched on August 15, Tourism Ireland’s India Facebook page has gained over 23,000 fans, up from 10,000 before the film's release.
Now Tourism Ireland is anticipating a flood of Indian tourists in the coming months and years because the film's production company, Yash Raj Films, has a reputation for drawing Indians to foreign destinations.
Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland is said to have another Bollywood film in the pipeline, though the details haven't been announced yet. You can expect a big song and dance,and some major tourism dollars, to follow shortly though.
Here's the Tourism Ireland advert: Here's the trailer for “Ek Tha Tiger”: