Some of the top names in the world of Bollywood have arrived in Ireland this week. Tourism Ireland in India, in conjunction with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, invited the group of acclaimed Bollywood producers, directors and location scouts to visit – to explore the potential of numerous locations and scenic spots around the island for their next big Bollywood blockbuster.
Over the coming seven days, the Bollywood producers will check out locations in Dublin (including St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Temple Bar and the Ha’penny Bridge); the West of Ireland (including Ashford Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, Kenmare and the Dingle Peninsula); and Northern Ireland (including Titanic Belfast, the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle). Their itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Last year, the Bollywood film shot on location in Dublin – Ek Tha Tiger – became one of the biggest-grossing movies ever in India and was seen by an estimated 100 million cinema-goers. Tourism Ireland is confident that the huge popularity of Bollywood films can deliver real benefits for tourism to the island of Ireland, with films shot here helping to significantly boost awareness of Ireland among India’s growing middle classes who have the potential to come here on holidays.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said: “Bollywood is deep-rooted in the psyche of most Indians and in Indian communities across the world, and the films have a considerable influence on Indian travellers when they are deciding on their holiday destination. We are delighted to have co-operated with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, to secure the visit of these influential Bollywood producers and directors for Ireland. We know that film and television are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and film production companies, to facilitate the making of films and travel programmes around the island of Ireland. Films shot on location here, like Ek Tha Tiger, are really influential – helping to increase awareness of Ireland, to whet appetites among Indian travellers who are always on the look-out for new destinations and create a curiosity to come and visit the places where the film was shot.”
The visiting Bollywood group flew to Dublin via London, because of the ease of access now provided by the visa waiver scheme. Introduced by the Irish Government in 2011, the scheme allows people from emerging markets who are visiting Britain to also visit Ireland – without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate visa.
Bollywood producers and directors enjoying a bird’s-eye view of Dublin from the Westbury Hotel, before embarking on a walking tour of the city, including (back, l-r) Naoise Barry, Irish Film Board; Kulmeet Makkar, The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd; Amar Butala, UTV Motion Pictures; Vikesh Bhutani, Excel Entertainment; Huzan Fraser, Tourism Ireland India; (front, l-r) Sarita Patil, Balaji Telefilms; and Mitali Mahajan, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt Ltd.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• In 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.