The Hindi film industry of India, known in popular parlance as Bollywood, is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. The love for Bollywood unifies all Indians across diverse age groups, social and economic strata and urban-rural divide. It can be described as a visual medium that captures the human experience in its entirety. We want to be a part of the celluloid world in front of us, identify with the characters, feel their pathos and happiness and share our experience with them. In short, Bollywood is an inseparable part of our everyday life and existence.
Apart from entertaining us and helping us to detach from the mundaneness of our lives, Bollywood has also performed the essential function of encouraging people to travel. This, in turn has boosted local economies, led to the growth of travel-related industries and generated large-scale employment. Let us take an example. Lake Pangong Tso in Ladakh, located at an altitude of around 4,350 metres in the Himalayas spanning east Ladakh and west Tibet. The world’s highest saltwater lake, the road to get there is a narrow strip constructed to transport soldiers to protect the border with China. However, the lake became a major tourist attraction for Indians and foreigners when in 2009, Aamir Khan’s laugh riot with a social message ‘3 Idiots’ had two scenes shot in the vicinity of the lake. The scenes featured a famous song in the movie with chairs designed in the shape of men’s bottoms. As a record number of tourists flocked to see the area where their favourite film stars had shot, there was a spurt in tourist activity boosting the tourism economy in the region.
The Indian Hindi film industry has an immortal love affair with Switzerland. Till the early 60s, Indian films were majorly shot in the cooler climes of Kashmir. Raj Kapoor was one of the earliest actors to shoot key scenes of his movie ‘Sangam’ in the pristine Swiss locales. The beauty of the Swiss alps was discovered and immortalized by veteran Indian film-maker Yash Chopra. He discovered Switzerland in 1970. Almost all of his movies including the record-breaking ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ has been shot in Switzerland. The placid lakes and quaint villages of the country were beautifully captured on camera by Yash Chopra. The acclaimed director who headlined several romantic movies has the ‘Yash Chopra’ lake named after him in the country. He was named honorary ambassador of the traditional resort town of Interlaken in Switzerland with a statue of him holding a camera unveiled in the town in 2016. country with its breath-taking verdant beauty even has the ‘Yash Chopra’ lake named after the acclaimed director who headlines several romantic movies.
Over the years, Switzerland has become a hallmark tourist destination for Bollywood afficionados from India and abroad. For the uninitiated Indian tourists who are visiting Switzerland for the first time, tour operators in the country are offering them guided tours of locations where scenes of Bollywood movies have been shot. ‘Guides Gstaad-Saanenland’ offers Bollywood lovers group and individual tours of popular movie destinations. It would not be an exaggeration to say that a large part of the tourism economy of Switzerland is driven by Bollywood. It bolsters the entrepreneurial aspirations of local people and boosts local economies through the creation of ancillary industries.
By fostering cultural exchanges between tourists and local citizens, Bollywood has opened new vistas of employment and development for populations in India and abroad. With Bollywood expanding its shooting horizons to untapped locations in Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan (where Sanjay Dutt’s movie Torbaaz was shot), countries are building a robust travel infrastructure. It has spawned the need for improved public amenities like roads, highways, airports, public parks and hotels for facilitating sustained tourist stay and movement. The chances of local populations in these countries getting employed in the infrastructure sector have improved with opportunities of better standards of living.
Authored by Shubham Singhi, Travel blogger & Photographer heading ‘World in my BackPack’
This news was shared to Prittle Prattle News via press release.