Video: Bid to woo Indian tourists with Dublin Bollywood film
TOURISM chiefs plan to use a Bollywood film to bring more Indian visitors to Ireland.
The movie Ek Tha Tiger - meaning Once There Was A Tiger - was shot in Dublin last September.
Tourism Ireland said it will piggy-back on the expected blockbuster's massive reach across India as part of a strategy to promote Ireland as a holiday destination.
The film, to be released this summer, is expected to reach more than 100 million people.
"Bollywood is deep-rooted in the psyche of most Indians and the films have a considerable influence on Indian travellers when they are deciding on their holiday destination," said a Tourism Ireland spokeswoman.
"We are confident that the footage shot in Dublin will help whet appetites and create a curiosity among Indians to come and visit the places where the colourful film was shot."
Featuring two of Bollywood's biggest stars - Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan - the film follows a man on a secret mission to Dublin, where he falls in love with a woman studying at a dance academy at Trinity College.
Scenes were shot in and around Trinity, Merrion Square and the Ha'penny Bridge.
Tourism Ireland is leading nine travel organisations on a four-day trade mission to Mumbai and Delhi this week.
The state agency is targeting a surging middle-class in India - expanding by an estimated 40 million people every year - who have increasing wealth on the back of the country's booming economy.
It is believed at least nine million foreign trips are taken by Indians every year.
About 15,000 of those are to Ireland, compared with around 400,000 to the UK.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said 10 tour operators in India have added Ireland to their itineraries for the first time this year following the new visa waiver scheme introduced last year.