Indian visitors to Scotland are being encouraged to dance in the footsteps of their favourite Bollywood stars.
Ahead of its forthcoming 2015 sales mission to India, VisitScotland has researched and created a special online map, Bollywood Scotland, which highlights dozens of Scottish locations that provide stunning backdrops for some of Bollywood's best-loved stars and most iconic musical sequences.
The map, along with a marketing toolkit, will be made available to the Indian travel trade, while consumers can also access it directly via visitscotland.com/bollywood
Producers of Bollywood films, which are famous for their extravagant song-and-dance routines, have been flocking to Scotland since 1998, filming on location in places such as Edinburgh Castle, Tantallon Castle, Glasgow’s George Square and Glen Coe.
A host of Bollywood megastars, including former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, have shot scenes in Scotland with Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Culzean Castle and Traquair House among many locations to have appeared on the big screen in both India and around the world.
Research has shown that 40 per cent of visitors to the UK are inspired to come here after seeing it on film or on television.
In total, the map showcases 23 Indian films that have been shot in Scotland, including the groundbreaking movies that kick-started the trend: screen legend Dev Anand's Main Solah Baras Ki (1998) (Sweet Sixteen) and Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) (Something Happens in My Heart), which featured iconic landmarks including Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands and Crossraguel Abbey in Ayrshire.
The Bollywood Scotland map was launched today (Tuesday 20 January) by Indian troupe Dance Ihayami at Edinburgh Castle, one of a number of Historic Scotland attractions that feature on the map.
India’s growing potential number of high-spending, luxury-seeking consumers, who are drawn to Scotland’s castles, landscapes and whisky, represent a strong emerging market with Scotland currently welcoming around 34,000 visitors a year.
Increased connectivity via Middle East hubs means it is now easier than ever for Indian visitors to seek out the places featured in their favourite movies.
Qatar Airways, sponsors of the Bollywood Scotland map, has recently announced that services between Edinburgh and Doha will be become daily from 1 May 2015. This will allow customers even greater flexibility and travel options between India and Scotland.
In 2015, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Mela will together present a Bollywood Dance Extravaganza featuring a troupe of 60 dancers from India and Scotland.
Vineet Lal, VisitScotland’s Senior Marketing Manager, Emerging Markets, said: “Romantic Scotland and the age-old romance of Bollywood are the perfect match. Bollywood film-makers have an enduring love affair with our cities, castles, lochs and glens, making Scotland the perfect stage for their dreamy love songs and elaborate dance numbers.
“And while Scotland has often starred as a backdrop for musical sequences, it increasingly plays an integral part in the narrative in films such as Edinburgh-set Mausam (2011) and the Loch Ness-based thriller Three: Love Lies Betrayal (2009). This map will give prospective Indian visitors yet another reason to visit Scotland and step into the magical world of Bollywood.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “India is a strong emerging market, with many visitors already drawn to Scotland’s castles, landscapes and whisky. Numerous Bollywood film-makers have chosen to make Scotland a star in their movies, and I’m sure this VisitScotland map will encourage even more Indian visitors to follow in their footsteps.”
Richard Oliver, UK and Ireland Country Manager at Qatar Airways, said: “The recent announcement that Qatar Airways will be increasing its current schedule to offer a daily service between Doha and Edinburgh will mean that customers wishing to travel to and from Scotland will have even greater choice when choosing to fly on our five-star airline.”
Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Scotland, added: “It’s wonderful to see a number of our iconic visitor attractions feature within this map, allowing people to visit the backdrops of some of their favourite Bollywood films and music videos in person.
“It’s a real testament to the continued appeal of Scotland’s historic visitor attractions, not just at home but on a world-wide level.”
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Year of Food and Drink 2015
- 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
- Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
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