Potential Bollywood bonanza in store for Ireland
This week I welcomed a co-ordinated initiative by Tourism Ireland and the Irish Film Board, which will see six top Bollywood producers visit Ireland at the end of this month with a view to filming movies here.
CSO figures earlier this week revealed that tourism numbers from emerging markets, like China and India, are up by 3.2%, which is the strongest performance ever from these areas.
We need to build on this and strike while the iron is hot. The Bollywood movie, Ek tha Tiger, which was filmed in Dublin last September, was one of the highest grossing movies in India and seen by no less than 100 million cinema-goers. The equivalent exposure in advertising terms of future block buster Bollywood movies being filmed here is considerable.
It is also noteworthy that the Tourism Ireland initiative involving a celebrity Chinese couple spending their honeymoon in Ireland last November, generated an estimated €500,000 worth of publicity in China for the investment of just €8,000. Subsequently, the Chinese newspaper the Oriental Morning Post, revealed that a large percentage of Chinese travellers regarded Ireland as being the number one destination of choice for 2013.
In addition to ensuring value for money, it is vital we encourage more innovative tourism initiatives which will provide maximum return for a minimum investment.