Bollywood look to north coast for blockbuster

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SOME of the top names in the world of Bollywood have visited the North Antrim Coast to check out possible locations for their next blockbuster.

Tourism Ireland in India, in conjunction with Northern Ireland Screen and the Irish Film Board, invited the group of acclaimed Bollywood producers, directors and location scouts to visit – to explore the potential of numerous locations and scenic spots around Northern Ireland and the Republic.

During their time here, the Bollywood producers checked out iconic locations around the North Antrim Coast including Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Ballintoy Harbour, Dunluce Castle, Mussenden Temple and the dramatic Dark Hedges, near Ballymoney. Their itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Last year, the Bollywood film shot on location in Dublin – Ek Tha Tiger – became one of the biggest-grossing movies ever in India and was seen by an estimated 100 million cinema-goers.

Tourism Ireland is confident that the huge popularity of Bollywood films can deliver real benefits for tourism to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, with films shot here helping to significantly boost awareness of the island of Ireland among India’s growing middle classes who have the potential to come here on holidays.

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said: “Bollywood is deep-rooted in the psyche of most Indians and in Indian communities across the world, and the films have a considerable influence on Indian travellers when they are deciding on their holiday destination.

“We are delighted to have co-operated with Northern Ireland Screen and the Irish Film Board, to secure the visit of these influential Bollywood producers and directors.

“We know that film and television are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and film production companies, to facilitate the making of films and travel programmes around Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.”

Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.