Global Film Tourism conclave: Promoting destinations through Films

“Have you booked your tickets to Madrid?”, Rahul asked Vidur enthusiastically.

“Trying to look for a nice Bed and Breakfast in Madrid but I’m not able to strike a good deal. I wanna save some money for the Tomatina festival!”
Rahul nodded and patted Vidur’s back and went back. Rahul and Vidur are planning Spain so did another group of friends, I had talked to. What’s so special about Spain or is there a pattern?

Well let’s analyse….

Spain has become such a favorable foreign tourist destination in India. Now, you can see many friends and their groups heading to Spain and organizing bachelor’s party! Though it has Mediterranean climate and can host tourists throughout the year, yet India is seeing a surge in the number of Indian tourists arriving in Spain… hmm nice pattern…. What could it be?

Well my guess is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Remember the daring acts Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Hrithik Roshan did. The sights, the dialogues “Yeh ladka toh Mentalllllll hai”, mimicry of Professor D-d-d-d-ubey and of course how can one forget the ravishing Katrina Kaif.

Zindagi na milegi dobara was shot in Spain. BnBNation
Zindagi na milegi dobara was shot in Spain and has led to a surge in Indian travelers arriving in Spain for a staycation.

Switching back to my professional space, the recent spurt of Indian Tourist arrival in Spain can be majorly attributed to the phenomenon called ‘Film Tourism’.

Film Tourism

The term ‘Film tourism’ can be defined as a branch of cultural tourism. It refers to the growing interest and demand for locations which become popular due to their appearance in films and television series. The interest or pull generated out of seeing a movie scene which in turn pushes the tourist influx of a particular region up is a roundabout way of marketing, but has a larger impact on more dedicated audiences than direct advertisements. In India, the story began inthe 60’s with Raj Kapoor’s Sangam (1964), which was perhaps the first mainstream film to be shot in Switzerland. This was followed by a wave of destination films such as, An Evening in Paris (1967) and Love in Tokyo (1966).


Stages of Film shooting. BnBNation
Stages of Film shooting
Perspectives of Film Tourism

Film tourism can be defined from two unique perspectives:

  1. Producing and shooting motion pictures
  2. Tourism activities induced because of the movies shot in a location or destination.

Powered by the growth of the entertainment industry and the increase in international travel, Film tourism is a growing phenomenon.

How does Film Tourism work?

Film shooting and Film Tourism:

Whenever a large budget is to be shot, a large crew of actors, support actors, technicians, make up, etc is hired. Based on the requirement of the plot, the shooting locations are shortlisted. Then, a movie scene of predetermined duration is shot, permissions adhering to various regulations are sought and so are the local resources sought. This leads to utilization of accommodation facilities, transportation, food and other hospitality by products.

Buzz created due to Film shooting:

Whenever a tourist plans a leisure (or non-leisure) holiday, he seeks to visit a film shooting location or a place where a popular movie scene is shot. The reason for such behavior is no rocket science. The tourist wants to fulfill his/her own aspirations and obviously to boast to friends back home “Hey I visited the Tomatina festival. It was dope!”


Benefits accrued to a local film destination due to Film Tourism

Whenever a film is shot in a certain place, permissions are sought and this means paying fees to the tourism department. Hiring local transport, booking rooms and ordering food means employment opportunities for the local community. Apart from these major heads, the following chart will show the various benefits that are accrued to a local film destination due to film tourism.

Benefits due to local film production. BnBNation
Benefits due to local film production
Global scenario of Film Tourism:

Globally, the countries have started recognizing various direct and indirect benefits of encouraging local film productions. This has led to several countries invest in film production. Incentive programs may be both monetary and non-monetary in nature.


Scenario of Film Tourism in India:

India is the world’s largest film producer with a market size of over $2 billion, nearly 200 films annually. India boasts of over 100 years of cinematic history with a unique multilingual film industry spread across various states. In 2015, over 200 Indian films were shot in over 50 countries around the world.

Source: Deloitte Report - Economic Contribution of the Indian Motion Picture and Television Industry. BnBNation
Source: Deloitte Report – Economic Contribution of the Indian Motion Picture and Television Industry

According to a research by Deloitte, in terms of revenue, the industry has gross box office realizations of $2.1 billion. This is expected to grow at 11% CAGR to reach $3.7 billion by 2020. This presents an exciting opportunity for film commissions, tourism offices and production services companies from around the world to attract outbound Indian productions.


PK starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma. Some of its scenes were shot in Agrasen ki baoli in Delhi due to Delhi Tourism efforts. BnBNation
PK starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma. Some of its scenes were shot in Agrasen ki baoli in Delhi due to Delhi Tourism efforts.
Key Drivers of Growth of Film Tourism in India
  • Expansion and penetration of multiplex chains in Tier 2 and tier 3 cities
  • Investments by foreign studios in domestic and regional productions
  • Audience is growing mature and is able to consume lesser known stories, thereby, leading to popularity of niche movies
  • Emergence of digital revenue streams in the form of Netflix etc.
  • Several attractive locations for film shooting
  • Low cost labour which leads foreign directors to shoot with talent crewmakers in India economically.
  • Film Infrastructure availability in places specially designated to film production, also called Film cities. These Film cities consist of air-conditioned and soundproof shooting floors, custom designed set locations, digital film processing labs, dubbing studios and other allied requirements.
PHD Chamber of Commerce- Global Film Tourism Conclave in association with BnBNation

Now for the real part, PHD Chamber of Commerce holds an annual Global Film Tourism conclave. Today, the 7th October 2017, Global Film Tourism conclave is being held in Mumbai with the theme “Promoting destinations through films”.

BnBNation is the synergy partner of the PHD Chamber of Commerce Global Film Tourism Conclave: ‘Promoting destinations through films’. Various State Tourism Boards are present in the conclave. This is an apt platform for all State Tourism Boards to create awareness about the regulations that have been eased in order to facilitate Film tourism in the state.

In Delhi, various films have been shot like PK, Fan, Rockstar, Ranjhanaa, Tanu weds Manu, Madras Café etc. This is because of the facilitation provided by the Delhi Tourism department. Delhi Tourism has Mr. Sudhir Sobti as the Nodal officer for promoting. The role of the nodal officer is to facilitate hassle-free Film shooting in the capital of India which leads to employment generation and tourism revenue for the state.

URL for Film Tourism conclave PDF:

Earlier this year, BnBNation was the Knowledge partner of PHD Chamber of Commerce’s 6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave: Sustaining Heritage Tourism in Khajuraho

Press coverage of the event:

The Hindu

The Business Standard

So next time you go to a cinema hall to watch a movie, observe the various shooting locations. Now you know the amount of effort that goes into shooting each movie scene that delights us in ways more than one!

20 thoughts on “Global Film Tourism conclave: Promoting destinations through Films”

  1. I knew that india is the largest global film producer, but I didn’t know about film tourism and the business behind it at all! Thanks for the eye opening article!

  2. You’ve picked the very movies that have greatly impacted tourism to certain destinations. It is so true and I loved reading this post because you’ve put across very relevant and valid points. Zindagi na milegi dobara is definitely the reason for surge in tourism to Spain, from India 🙂

  3. Ok film tourism! Hmm. I don’t now if I have any movie that would make me visit a place where it was shot. I am more interested in places, where real historical events happened.
    But a good post, thanks for sharing.

  4. Films always have such a powerful impact on our lives. Be it fashion or a strong message or a destination, they are a great influence when it comes to promoting anything, isn’t it? The stats that you have put here speak for themselves. In fact, between our travels, we too like watching movies set with beautiful travel backgrounds and that really satisfies our wanderlust when not traveling.

  5. “oh yes, I’d been there!” while showing a photo trying to re-enact the scenes from the film 🙂 I do it also…
    What we see or read, what we hear influences as to choose our next destination,,, hope to visit Spain as well,,

  6. Never really thought about it before, but it does make a lot of sense! Croatia has become a very popular destination too, possibly because a lot of Game of Thrones is filmed there?

  7. I started observing film locations much later in life, probably in college. Prior to that it were the stories told that captured my imagination ! I agree that Indian films have broadened the horizon for travel for us (good for tourism in general). I haven’t visited any place based on a film but surely they make for a great background in films. Loved the details in your post as they showed me behind the scenes of film making I wasn’t aware of.

  8. Nice post about a topic I haven’t put much thought in it. I guess I’m a little late for the few film settings that first pop up in my mind, as they have become quite touristy (Petra – Indiana Jones & Ankor Wat – Tomb Rider and that one beach in Thailand from the movie “The Beach”)…

  9. Films, especially the Bollywood ones are great ambassadors for destinations. Whether it be Switzerland, Spain or Ladakh, they all have benefited from this. Nice analysis of the trend too.

  10. Very insightful and informative post. I actually met a couple of guys who work for the national geographic but also as freelancers make tourism videos for everything from specific places to country videos. They actually did videos for Belize and Ecuador to attract more tourists. Good to get your insight into this too

  11. Bookmarked. Pretty informative post about film tourism. Some of your tips I can really make use of in future. Film tourism it’s growing and has become a big deal in the movie industry. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Indeed, film tourism is a thing. I, for one, plan on going to some countries just to see the spots in which some of my favorite movies or tv series had been shot (e.g., Croatia because of Game of Thrones). Movie has been proven effective in promoting tourism.

  13. I’ve noticed this a lot more lately, sometimes it can be quite obvious which tourists are there because of a film/TV show because all the tourists from that country come amass. I.e. with Game of Thrones and Croatia. I also saw a lot of Korean tourists in Croatia because they filmed a Korean TV series there a couple of years ago.

  14. That’s so true I agree people get impressed by places by watching them on tv shows or movies and then desire to travel there. I myself do that sometimes like these days I am very impressed by a Turkish show and I am craving to go there so bad 😀

  15. Such an awesome topic! I agree that all kinds of media can inspire us to travel. Like for example I went to Santorini because I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was young☺️ Cool topic☺️☺️

  16. I have to agree with you. When I need inspiration for my upcoming travels, I search movies set in my next destination. Films, though not always accurate, show us different angles of a place – different perspectives, so to speak. And it’s these things that occur in the trenches of every day can be seen in a new light, thus giving a new flavor to a place.

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