Sri Lanka organizers film-tourism promotional campaign in Bangalore and Mumbai.
The Morning: The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), together with SriLankan Airlines and the International Film Producers’ Association of Sri Lanka organised a film-tourism promotional campaign in Bangalore and Mumbai targeting both South Indian and North Indian big five cinema industries covering Bollywood (Hindi), Kollywood (Tamil), Tollywood (Telugu), Sandalwood (Kannada), Mollywood (Malayalam), as well as emerging industries such as Bihar-based Bhojpuri Film Industry, Mumbai-based Marathi Film Industry, Bengali Cinema, and Punjab Entertainment Industry.
Films and TV shows work as virtual brochures and offer a subtler way of marketing compared to traditional touristic campaigns.
Sri Lanka’s legendary film producer and director Chandran Rutnam has also taken part in this film-tourism promotion in India together with Sri Lanka Tourism by leading the Sri Lankan film producers’ delegation. He was also honoured by Indian film producers for his contribution to international cinema over the years.
In his statement, Rutnam stated: “This international film location promotion was a timely, important action, and I must thank the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau as well as the Ministry of Tourism for putting in effort for the success of this promotion. In a period where we are seeking all possible options to bring in more foreign revenue to the country, these kinds of targeted promotions will make our job easier and give us the backing to convince more international film producers to choose Sri Lanka.”
Rutnam further stated that as a result of this film-tourism promotion, he “was able to tie up with a film production that was going to neighbouring Malaysia, which I was able to divert to Sri Lanka. A 90-day shoot that is set to start shooting in the middle of November continuing through the Christmas season, right up to the end of February, bringing in forex up to $ 4 million and employment to the local film industry. I have also signed with an Indian/Australian Production to shoot in February, March, and April 2023.”
Realising the immediate economic benefits created by having international film productions in Sri Lanka and direct impact on Indian tourists’ arrivals by popularising Sri Lanka Tourism via Indian films, TV shows, and other OTT platforms, SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission-Chennai and Sri Lanka Consul General Office in Mumbai also supported this destination promotion which was undertaken in the first half of October at the Innovative International Film Festival (IIFF), Bangalore and India International Film Conclave (IIFTC), Mumbai.
The destination presentations conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism during both events in Bangalore and Mumbai held the attention of Indian film producers, directors, location managers, and all other competitive destinations. Situational updates on Sri Lanka, filming facilities available, and incentives expected to be offered by the Sri Lankan Government were highlighted in the presentations. On behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism, Public Relations Assistant Director Chaminda Munasinghe conducted the country presentation and invited all participants to visit Sri Lanka.
During the three-day event, Bollywood, Kollywood and Telugu film producers, directors, and line managers from top Indian production houses were convinced by Sri Lanka Tourism to consider Sri Lanka as the next film location supplier to feed Indian cinema. Some high-profile films directors and production houses met the Sri Lankan delegation including Dharma Productions Executive Producer Madhav Roy Kapur, Film Federation of India Director, Producer, and Secretary General Ravi Kottarakara, Lyca Productions CEO Aashish Singh, Zee Studios Head of Productions Vijay Kadechkarr, Top Angle Productions Supervising Producer Ruchit Bahl.
As an immediate result of this film location promotion in India, Sri Lanka Tourism expects to organise a location familiarisation tour programme for selected high-profile film directors and producers covering all Indian cinema to raise awareness about the destination and showcase Sri Lanka’s capability of facilitating the Indian film industry.
Sri Lanka’s international sensation, singer, and music producer Yohani De Silva also made a guest appearance at IIFTC 2022 to support the Sri Lankan film-tourism promotion. She was also honoured with a special impact award for her contribution to the Indian cinema industry.
Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities are in a constant search for new tourism concepts while also conducting tourism promotions in key foreign tourist markets. Film tourism is the latest concept to be promoted to woo leisure/business travellers to the country. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the path to normalcy after facing the challenges posed by the global pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. There has been a steady growth in the number of tourist arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka has also received exposure in the international media as a must visit tourist destination and as one of the top island destinations. The growth in the tourism industry has expanded business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Given the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the industry especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors.
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