India banks on reel highlights

INDIAN tourism authorities are dishing out incentives to local filmmakers in a bid to persuade them to showcase the county’s various destinations and attractions.

India’s Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai, discussed this agenda with leading Indian filmmakers at the recent International Film Festival of India in Goa, offering cash incentives of up to US$20,000, tax waivers and marketing assistance.

“India is not being promoted enough,” he lamented.

The efforts are an attempt to replicate the success of movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You don’t get life a second time; shot in Spain), Don (Malaysia), and 3 Idiots (Ladakh) in creating a surge in Indian visitor numbers to these destinations.

The Ministry of Tourism will also assist in logistics management and location shoot infrastructure, and may even decide to subsidise filmmaking expenses if one or more predetermined destinations are featured.

“This is an innovative and brilliant move. We need such out-of-the-box initiatives to promote our destinations,” said P. P. Khanna, director, New Delhi-based Diplomatic Travel Point.

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