Global film tourism market to reach over $110 billion by 2028; film-induced tourism in India increases

The global film tourism market is on an upward trajectory, projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2 per cent in the coming years. Valued at USD 68.1 billion in 2022, it is expected to reach USD 110.79 billion by 2028, as per a KPMG report.

The report “Transforming location into vacation – A report on film tourism” by KPMG in India and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is an exploration of a niche yet burgeoning segment in tourism – Film tourism, which today stands at the confluence of cinematic art and travel, offering unique opportunities to destinations featured in films and television series.

India is one of the largest film producers in the world, and rolls out more than 1,500 movies yearly, with diverse storytelling traditions reflected in its prolific cinematic entertainers. Together, Indian television, cinema and OTT is expected to contribute 57 per cent to the Indian media industry by 2024.

The primary motivation for film tourism is the desire of travelers to connect with the cinematic world, experiencing first-hand the locations, cultures, and landscapes portrayed in their favourite films. This trend has emerged as a niche within the broader tourism industry, fostering economic growth for destinations that leverage their cinematic appeal.

Integrating cinema with tourism is a way for putting film tourist destinations on the map and generating economic benefits for the local population, as per the report.

The Media and Entertainment industry in India is expected to reach INR 8,29,390 Crore by 2030. In 2023, the Indian gross box office collection (GBOC) exceeded INR 12,000
Crore. The television, cinema, and OTT platforms share is expected to contribute 57 per cent to the Indian media industry by 2024. Bollywood in Mumbai, is the most prominent segment of the Indian film industry followed by regional film industries, such as Tollywood (telugu), Kollywood (tamil), and others.

In India, film-induced tourism witnessed a steady increase with a significant rise in the number of international and domestic tourists visiting locations featured in popular films. This prompted the government of India to offer several incentives to encourage film tourism, such as tax rebates and film subsidies to encourage filmmakers to film in India.

Rajasthan, for instance, adopted a strategy that promotes film tourism by providing subsidies of Rs 2 Crore per film for shooting within the state, in addition to waiving all taxes and fees related to filming at any government-owned landmarks, sites, and properties.

Uttar Pradesh, a longstanding contributor to India’s film industry landscape, recently adopted a comprehensive film tourism policy aimed at fostering the all-encompassing advancement of the sector. Emphasising infrastructural enhancements, financial support through subsidies and rebates on location fees, as well as facilitating access to government-owned properties, this policy seeks to stimulate growth and development. In addition to these measures, state tourism initiatives play a pivotal role in supporting film tourism by organising film festivals, conducting roadshows, hosting cultural events, and engaging in various promotional endeavors.

The power of cinematic destinations: Impact of films on destinations

The report finds that a destination featured prominently in mainstream media can garner international attention drawing visitors from far. Such influx provides opportunities for film tourism, where visitors can tour film sets and locations, attend film festivals and events, and participate in workshops and masterclasses

As per the New Zealand tourism department, the country experienced a 40 per cent increase in tourist arrivals since the film, “The Lord of The Rings”. Moreover, Hobbiton was transformed from a film studio into a tourist attraction following production of the film series, “The Hobbit”. Presently, it is among New Zealand’s top tourist destinations

Other classic examples of film tourism transforming the economy of a destination and putting it on the global map are: Multiple Bollywood films highlighted historic forts and palaces of Rajasthan. The state government and tourism board actively promoted these locations, attracting both domestic and international visitors.

Some factors driving individuals to travel to a particular destination include the natural beauty and terrain, the overarching theme, the array of events and individuals involved, the narratives presented, and the adeptness of marketers in associating the location with specific sentiments, perspectives, or emotional responses

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