The Kerala government is exploring opportunities to develop cinema tourism in the state. In a meeting chaired by Culture Minister Saji Cherian earlier this week, staff of the culture and tourism departments discussed the possibilities of cinema tourism in Kerala. As the next step, members of both departments will submit a report with a comprehensive plan of action.
Speaking of the meeting, Saji Cherian wrote on social media that locations like Chapora Fort in Goa and Pangong Lake in Ladakh saw a rush of tourists after the films Dil Chahta Hai and 3 Idiots. After the release of the film Ordinary, travel to Gavi in the Pathanamthitta district has increased. This project aims to utilise the potential of cinema in promoting tourism in the state.
Tourism Minister PA Muhammad Riyas wrote that this project will revive memories of iconic cinema. It will attract tourists to places like the Bekal Fort in Kasargod district where the song 'Uyire' from Mani Ratnam's film, Bombay, was shot or the bridge in Thiruvananthapuram from the film Kireedam which Mohanlal's character frequented.
In 2019, the PHD Chamber for Commerce and Industry, in association with Ernst & Young, released this report that projected cinema tourism to generate a revenue of close to $3 billion by 2022. A conclave on the theme "Turning Location Into Vacation" was also conducted.
One of the most successful projects of cinema tourism can be seen in Ramoji Film City (RFC) in Hyderabad, where there are curated tours to visit the sets and locations of various films. In the last few years, the biggest attraction has been the sets of Baahubali, which are now permanently housed at RFC. Scenic locations like Kumbalangi, on the outskirts of Kochi, where the film Kumbalangi Nights is set is now known as the model tourism village and has won awards for developing EcoTourism.
Picture Source: P A Muhammad Riyas