Bollywood draws billions of fans. In a different draw, a popular song sequence of an Indian film has led Iceland Tourism to pick India as its next market for promotion. The NTO organised a three city roadshow in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai earlier this month to educate travel professionals about its unique attractions.
H.E Thorir Ibsen, Ambassador of Iceland to India, said: “There has been an interest among Indians to visit Iceland after the picturisation of the song Gerua from the movie Dilwale in Iceland. The locales of Iceland were beautifully captured in that song which has caught the attention of tourists in India. We want to leverage on this interest and increase the number of tourist arrivals from India. We would also like to invite more Bollywood movies to come and shoot in Iceland.”
Actors Shahrukh Khan and Kajol enacted Gerua song in Dilwale highlighted the unique natural beauty of the West European country. Iceland has been popular with Hollywood movie producers. The country is offering 21 percent reimbursement on film production cost of what is shot in Iceland. H E Ibsen said that the procedure was the same to film makers from any country and was quite transparent with quick recovery. Camera and equipment is available for hiring, along with local professionals who have worked with Hollywood films. Iceland is well equipped with hotels in cities from where visitors can travel to the countryside. Winter tourism of ski at different locations, snow mobiles, visits to highlands in specially equipped jeeps seem to attract Indians.
Mr Thorleifur Thor Jonsson, Manager – Trade Delegations, Promote Iceland said: “We have not been very active in the Indian market in the past. But now we think that Iceland has gained interest in India and we want to build on the momentum through our maiden roadshows. The roadshow was a platform for us to meet the travel trade and understand the requirements of Indian travellers.”
A combination of beautiful landscapes, roaring volcanoes, monolithic glaciers, icy mountains and deep fjords make a good option for high-end Indian travellers seeking niche experience.
Iceland received a little over 1000 tourists from India last year. Schengen visa is valid for travel to the country or else, one can obtain an Iceland visa in ten days. Two Indian restaurants are there in capital city Reykjavik.
The Icelandic delegation included representation from companies like Gray Line, Iceland Air, Iceland Europe Travel, Tripical, Gudmundur Jonasson Travel, Iceland Travel and Terra Nova Iceland.
Newly introduced online specialist program by Iceland academy helps travel trade teaches all the essentials of Iceland and awards a diploma by the end of four classes.
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti