PHDCCI’s 6th Global Film Tourism Conclave Unveils Report, Urging Policy Reforms to Boost India’s Film Tourism Sector

On March 1, 2024, the PHDCCI held its 6th Global Film Tourism Conclave at the Novotel in Juhu, Mumbai, with the theme Transforming Location into Vacation. Distinguished dignitaries gave speeches at the occasion, including the Indian Council for Cultural Relations President, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who was the guest of honour, as well as representatives from the state tourism boards and the ministry of tourism. During the session, notable individuals in the Indian cinema industry were recognised for their noteworthy accomplishments. These included Grammy-winning flutist Rakesh Chaurasiya, singer Hariharan, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and well-known screenwriter and filmmaker Mr. Rumy Jafry.

The number of films made and distributed by India’s entertainment powerhouse is a significant factor in the country’s film industry. In addition to its status as the nation’s largest centre for trade and commerce, Mumbai is the location of the Bollywood film industry. Mumbai is the production hub for more than 70% of all Indian motion movies, television shows, and advertisements. India needs to step up its efforts to attract foreign film producers to visit and shoot in India. India has a great opportunity to encourage inbound travel outside well-known locations, according to Mr. Mahesh Singhi, Chair of the Maharashtra Chapter of the PHDCCI, Maharashtra.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting India in the year 2023, with 7.24 million footfalls till October 2023 as compared to 6.44 million for the corresponding period in 2022,” stated Mr. Anil Parashar, Chair of the PHDCCI’s Tourism and Hospitality Committee. “India is currently becoming more and more popular as a site for filming, offering intriguing and undiscovered areas in addition to generating employment and fostering cross-cultural interactions with the local communities. PHDCCI is dedicated to developing these kinds of significant venues so that the travel and tourism sector can continue to expand and thrive.”

PHDCCI Executive Director Dr. Ranjeet Mehta, who was speaking at the conclave, stated, “We at PHDCCI see a great opportunity in the sector for employment generation. Film tourism is not a new concept. India has the world’s greatest road network and is home to many wonderful, unexplored locations. Considering all of this, we would like to extend an invitation to filmmakers worldwide to shoot films in India. This will attract great tourism.”

“Although we support the single window clearance scheme, we would like the Indian government to expand it to include permission from other authorities, including the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, state and local municipal bodies, the Police, and traffic departments.” According to Dr. Mehta, private developers investing in film tourism-related infra such as Film City, Film Institutes, Film Studios, etc. should also be eligible for tax breaks and other financial benefits like tax credits, exemptions, or subsidies.

The unveiling of the PHDCCI-KPMG report, “Transforming Location into Vacation – A Report on Film Tourism,” was the highlight of the conclave. It included several thought-provoking sessions with industry experts on measures required to elevate the Indian film tourism sector and emphasised the need for India to leverage its rich cinematic heritage to position itself as a leading film tourism destination, leading to economic growth and cultural preservation. It emphasised that several states, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and others, had implemented policy changes, including incentives for filmmakers and single window clearances.

The report projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% for the global film tourism business over the next several years. Every year, more than 1,500 films are released from India, which is among the world’s biggest film-makers. By 2030, it is anticipated that India’s media and entertainment sector will generate INR 8 lakh crore. The gross box office collection (GBOC) in India for the previous year was more than INR 12,000 crore.

To help make India the world’s leading film tourism destination, the compelling report recommended several important steps, including tax incentives and financial benefits, government support to develop a national-level policy and guidelines for the industry, the allocation of dedicated funds to support film tourism initiatives, the establishment of a supervisory committee to ensure effective policy implementation and dispute resolution, the implementation of a clear process for registering agencies managing film festivals and tourism-related events, the encouragement of public-private partnerships for infrastructure development in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the simplification of licensing requirements for production houses, the streamlining of the clearance process, and promoting investment in modern film technologies and virtual reality experiences, among others to help make India the film tourism destination of the world.

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