Film Tourism in India
Film Tourism: An Emerging Phenomenon in India
Just like India is famous for numerous types of tourism like Medical Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Eco Tourism, Cultural Tourism, another kind of tourism also exists, mostly known as Film Tourism. India is the largest producer of films in the world. Generally called as the Bollywood, the tinsel town of India is counted only after the Hollywood. With a bunch of the finest actors of all time, India has always been popular among the entertainment lovers. India holds the potential to receive up to 1 million film tourists by 2022. With diversity in culture, India produces movies in a wide range of languages. The Indian movies leave a huge impact on the minds of viewers, may it be in the form of techniques used, angles shot or locations. When a viewer gets induced to visit a particular location after seeing it in a movie, it is termed as ‘Film Tourism’.
What is Film Tourism ?
Cinema is seen as a medium to transmit the leisure activities, social messages and cultural beliefs. Therefore, it can be considered as an instrument to cast influences in the terms of tourist attractions. In the recent times, it has worked quite positively for the tourism sector of India. Film Tourism can be understood as a concept in which entertainment industry and travel industry, both are benefitted simultaneously. Films show different actions happening at the awe-inspiring locations, often luring visitors to take a trip to those resplendent destinations. Film Tourism refers to the growing interest among general public for the places which became popular owing to their presence in certain scenes of movies. Terms like ‘Movie Tourism’ and ‘Cinema Tourism’ are also used sometimes to talk about the Film Tourism.
What are the reasons behind Film Tourism ?
Though the major purpose of films is to serve entertainment to the audience and earn profits, but over the time, the role of films has expanded a lot. Along with basic role, nowadays films become the medium of bringing opulence to the new destinations or we can say that films project their shoot locations in such a way that the audience gets attracted and undergo a sudden urge to visit those marvelous destinations. Another reason for undertaking Film Tourism is that people want to follow in the footsteps of their favorite performers. The plot of the movies also serve a lot in this regard-if a movie is able to connect with the minds of viewers at an emotional level, it gives boost to Film Tourism otherwise not. The favorable results produced by film and positive reviews too work for the betterment of Film Tourism. Some tourists visit shoot locations due to their historical significance. After watching the different locations and their representation in the most attractive way, the audience finds it hard to resist visiting those sites.
Progenitors of Film Tourism:
Film Tourism shares some of its characteristics with Literary Tourism. Just like a book/novel impacts the minds of a reader, similarly, a film also leaves a long-lasting influence on the hearts of the viewers. Both of them work to create visuals in their heads regarding to the particular destinations, relating to the descriptions given in books/movies. Both these branches act likely by connecting people with plots and places.
- Technological Impact on Film Tourism:- Though it can’t be denied that Film Tourism is similar to Literary Tourism, but still what sets it apart is that technology has benefitted films much more than books. Hence, viewers get better versions of audios and visuals in films now. It has boosted Film Tourism by giving explicit views of astonishing cityscapes. India created its first film (Raja Harishchandra) with no sound back in 1913 and first Indian sound film (Alam Ara) was made in 1931. During the time span of 18 years, the amendments in the field of technology made it possible to produce sounds in the film. From 1931 onwards, India is constantly moving on the path of development in all the sectors and today’s films are entirely different from those produced at that time. This has also made zenith accessible for the Indian film-making industry.
- Target audience of Film Tourism:-In general terms, people who choose to visit a tourist destination because of its association with certain famous movie. There is no predetermined target market in Film Market as it is there in other categories of Tourism. This is because a movie starring popular actors or exquisite locations would attract more tourists rather than a movie featuring debutant actors and remote locations. Film Tourists are mainly travellers of young age and tourists who travel only for short period of time. These are the people for whom tourist location is entirely an advanced encounter.
Benefits of Film Tourism:
It serves as an instrument in the process of marketing the possessions of the country, which further enhances the employment level in local regions. It is helpful in building the country image across the world. Film Tourism removes the barrier of seasonality from the minds of travellers as tourists feel an urge to visit the destination only after watching the films. They may not be willing to wait until the peak season of tourism. Knowledge of culture and heritage is increased among the viewers through Film Tourism. Along with its other benefits, Film Tourism also serves good to the transportation, hospitality and gastronomical departments.
- Challenges of Film Tourism:-Film Tourism faces a huge challenge in the form of varying expectations of the Film Tourists. Some tourists want to explore the adventurous side of the location while others wish to experience the local culture of that destination. When India is taken into account, there are numerous challenges for Film Tourism, ranging from regulatory to procedural. In India, administrative powers are mutually held by State Government and Central Government. Therefore, it becomes really difficult for the film producers to shoot freely according to their preferences. Some authorities ask for the scripts of films before granting permission to shoot, which makes the procedure quite tedious for the producers.
Destinations of Film Tourism:-
- India is famous all around the World for its scenic beauty and natural sites. Films have been shot at all locations, right from the historical palaces and temples to snowy mountains and thrilling hill stations.
- Coorg in Bangalore was an unexplored site in India till mid 90s but today, it is one of the topmost preferred destinations for shooting films as it shelters farms of coffee plantations and famous tourist spots like Madikeri Fort, Nagarhole National Park and many other waterfalls. Films like Ravaan and Saat Khoon Maaf were shot in the alleys of Coorg.
- Khajuraho Temple Complex in Madhya Pradesh and Badami Cave Temples in Karnataka are some of the prestigious historical choices for film producers. These sites of historic magnificence have been featured in Films like Kamasutra-A Tale of Love and Guru respectively.
- Jab Tak Hai Jaan was shot in the beautiful Kashmir valleys and Ooty is also one of the favorite hill stations for shooting movies.
- Bollywood flicks like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Jab Tak Hai Jaan showed the thrilling experience of adventurous activities like trekking and mountaineering in the wonderful destinations of India.
- Indian Culture is full with bright colors and festivities. Such thing has been well depicted in the films like Vivah and Band Baja Barat, making the presence of diversity felt in the hearts of viewers.
India being a country plentiful of culture, landscape, heritage and diversified cuisine has some really good opportunities to broaden its reach in terms of Film Tourism. Indian films can serve as a perfect platform to promote inbound as well as outbound tourism, with the depiction of tourist attracting destinations of Goa, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and many more. In order to maximize the Film Tourism of India, the administrative process has to be simplified and film productions must be incentivized, according to the report of EY and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The report also emphasized on building the “Brand India”. A single window clearance system can be introduced in other states as well just like Goa, Jammu and Kashmir. By making the process of obtaining permissions to shoot feasible for the filmmakers, India can do wonders in the field of Tourism. If proper actions are taken at due time, India can do wonders in the field of Film Tourism by serving as a perfect tourist attraction along with promotion of Indian Sites.