Europe, especially Switzerland, has been a favourite destination for Bollywood, the Indian / Hindi film industry. Israel has been working on enticing marketing strategies to woo both Indian Tourists and Bollywood Filmmakers. Israeli Tourism Ministry data reveals an astounding 82% increase in the number of Indians visiting the nation during the first half of 2018. An analysis by EurAsian Times with inputs from Haaretz, on why India is vital for Israel.
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Majority of Indians know a very little about Israel. Once the Israel Tourism Ministry launched a campaign in 2017, Indians started to recognise the tourism aspect of Israel. After all, Israel is not only about the Holy Land and the Palestinian conflict, the country also stands for beautiful locales and very rich history, according to the Director for Tourism.
Many of the Indian tourists appear to be attracted by the heritage-rich sights of Jerusalem or the stunning visuals of the Dead Sea. According to the director of tourism, both Indian tourists and Bollywood filmmakers can find exotic and stunning locations at Haifa, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mount of Olives, the Chapel of the Ascension, the Western Wall, Temple Mount, the Golan Heights and the Gaza border.
The robust diplomatic relations between India and Israel has immensely contributed to the tourism boom, thanks to the simplification of the visa application process and reduction of visa fees. When Narendra Modi became the first Indian PM to visit Israel in July 2017, he laid a strong foundation for boosting India-Israel bilateral relations.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry says some 60,000 Indian tourists visited Israel in 2017 and foresees that figure may double this year, which still is a miniscule proposition, compared to the 25 million Indian tourists who travelled abroad.
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Israel Loves Bollywood?
When Israel PM visited India, Benjamin Netanyahu hosted a special dinner event in Mumbai for Bollywood’s top artists and invited filmmakers to make their movies in Israel. “We want Bollywood in Israel. We are putting our money where our mouth is,” said Netanyahu,
Earlier, the cast and crew of Bollywood film “Drive” landed in Israel, where they shot a scene for their upcoming movie in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The film is produced by leading Bollywood filmmaker, Karan Johar.
The Israel Tourism Ministry is supposedly also extending tax incentives to promote Indian filmmakers to shoot in Israel. The Israel Tourism Ministry’s is trying all tricks of the trade to woo the billion-dollar Indian film industry in an attempt to make Isreal the next Switzerland for Bollywood and generate massive revenues associated with it.