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Kenya entices Bollywood with filming opportunities

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The number of tourists from India to Kenya has grown in recent years and using movies to boost tourism can work to further increase this number. Famous for its wildlife safaris, vast plains, white sand beaches, water sports and other unique natural treasures, Kenya can be the ideal location.

The Kenyan Tourism Board (KTB) is busy spreading awareness about their country among Indians, and is wooing filmmakers to shoot in Kenya. It will focus more on the Indian market and has increased its budget for this in order to attract more tourists from India (by backing new segments like Bollywood-based tourism). It increased its budget for the Indian market to ₹5.3 crore ($800,000) in 2016-17 which will boost tourist growth rate from 28 per cent to 40 per cent this year.

The KTB recently participated at the India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) with the objective of projecting Kenya as an ideal filming destination to Indian filmmakers (sponsored by Kenya Airways and the Kenya Film Commission). The Kenyan delegation highlighted the benefits of filming in Kenya, and showed that Kenya has ideal locations, equipment, technical support and the infrastructure required for successful filming.

Currently, India is the third largest tourism generator for the East African nation, after the US and UK.

Speaking at the IIFT in India, KTB Director Dr. Mohanjeet Brar noted that Kenya was endowed with some outstanding shooting locations waiting to be explored by the Indian film makers.

“Kenya has what it takes to become a world’s preferred choice for filming and we invite film production companies to the country to shoot their movies,” he said.

Besides a series of campaigns to lure the market, Kenya has hosted Indian film makers to promotional tours of diverse tourism products that Kenya has to offer presenting an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase the destination.

Over 80 international films have been shot entirely in Kenya many of which have won key international awards including Oscars.

“India is an important market for Kenya and we have proposed to invest more on other initiatives that would boost brand awareness through sports such as Cricket, MICE, golf as well as association with celebrities and other consumer brands,” added Brar.