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, CEO of Tourism Ireland, 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.