MUMBAI – Bollywood’s popularity has transcended the barriers of culture, language and borders. The Maharahstra government has now drawn up plans to lure tourists to Mumbai by introducing a Bollywood tourism project.
Vijaykumar Gavit, state tourism minister, said, “Film stars draw big crowds wherever they go. Their movies are lapped up by audiences across the world. As Mumbai is the hub of Indian film industry, it is logical to market this aspect of our culture to promote tourism.’’
The project has been named as Mumbai Film Tourism because officials do not wish to rake up any controversy the use of ‘Bollywood’ might entail.
The project will be set up either at Gorai in north Mumbai or Film City at Goregaon, where most of the production work and shoots are done. However, Gorai is likely to be preferred choice as the government has declared the place as a tourism zone. Being close to the coast, Gorai also has the potential to attract tourists.
Explaining the concept, Gavit said, “If the project is implemented at Gorai, tourists from south Mumbai can visit Gorai through the sea route. We plan to set up a centre for the project, where tourists will be shown the finer points of film making. Other interesting features of Bollywood will also be incorporated in the project.’’
Sources said a blueprint for the project is being prepared and the concept is likely to be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
An official from the tourism department said, “Similar themes are popular abroad. In Andhra Pradesh, tourists throng the world-famous Ramoji Film City.’’
The project also includes plans to set up a museum on Bollywood. The museum will have a section on costumes worn by stars or props like weapons and jewellery used in famous movies. The technology and equipment used in the making of movies may also find a place in the museum, the official said.
Besides, the museum will also have a gallery of photographs of famous Bollywood personalities. Another section will exhibit old cinema tickets and film posters.
Gavit said the centre will also play clips of various movie scenes. For example, “Tourists are curious to visit places where a movie has been shot. The clips will encourage them visit these locations.’’