Bollywood safari

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SummaryFilm-maker Mukesh Bhatt bemoans the lackadaisical attitude of the Maharashtra government in promoting film tourism in the state

Unlike the international film industry and their government who actively promote film tourism in their respective countries, in India, this effort is sadly lacking.

While you have The Harry Potter Theme Park in the UK, or The Disneyland in Paris, the film industry abroad have shown a keen interest in spreading the word about their cinema through these spectacular amusement and theme parks.

They also have wax museums with statues of international stars or even guided tours to Hollywood.

Sadly, in India, especially Maharashtra, which is the entertainment capital of the country, the idea and effort in promoting Hindi cinema through the concept of ‘tourism’ is lacking.

Bollywood is a big name abroad and the Hindi film industry has had a strong global impact since years. I really feel that India has a great scope in developing film tourism.

A few weeks ago, there were reports about MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) collaborating with Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri (Film City, Goregaon) to launch Bollywood tourism.

The reports also said that there were different packages that would be offered to the tourists, like a ‘hit’ pack for a three-hour guided tour of Film City tour or a ‘blockbuster’ pack that gave the tourists an access to Bollywood museum, cos- tume gallery and a cafe.

All this sounds promising, but let me tell you, that we have been hearing and falling prey to MTDC’s fake promises since a long time.

They talk about big projects that keep getting delayed! I seriously feel that the Maharashtra state government should take the Bollywood tourism programme seriously and come up with something really interesting.

There are so many foreign tourists who come to India hoping to watch live film shoots.

Unfortunately, they are left with only one option, that is to look for personal contacts (who have connections in the film industry), who will take them to watch shootings.

For example, a friend of mine told me that a few of his relatives had come down to India and wanted to visit a film set. Using my contact, they could take a tour of Film City. I am sure many tourists return to their respective countries with a broken heart. But that’s the way it functions here.

The Maharashtra government does not even provide facilities for the fans to visit the sets and meet their stars. I am really glad that Manmohan Shetty has come up with Adlabs Imagica.

The amusement park has a ride called Mr India— The

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