Chennai: Singapore Tourism Board has plans to partner with the film producers in India to facilitate the shoot of Tamil and Hindi films which give prominence to Singapore locales.
“It has been a pretty long time since a Tamil film was shot in Singapore, after movies like Ullagam Sutrum Valiban, Ninaithala Innikum and Priya. We would like to work with Kollywood and Bollywood film producers as part of our branded content promotion," says G.B. Srithar, Regional Director - South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board here on Wednesday.
The Hindi movie Dear Zindagi - featuring actress Alia Bhatt and her co-star Shah Rukh Khan, is the latest Hindi film shot in Singapore.
“Films are powerful medium. Those shot in Singapore will have an emotional connect,” he added. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) would however not extend any financial incentives to the movie producers but would bear some part of the expenditure and also ease the process of getting shooting permissions.
During 2016, Singapore received 16.4 million footfalls including 1.01 million from India, seeing an increase by 7.7 per cent over the previous year.
Tourism receipts rose by 13.9 per cent to $24.8 billion, preliminary estimates by the STB show. It anticipates 16.7 million international visitors by the end of this year.
Nearly 50 per cent of its visitors are leisure travellers though Singapore has also seen an increase from the business travel segment. The Board is looking at the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) segment with attractive offerings.
India is fourth major tourist market
Indonesia and India altered the dynamics of tourist arrivals to Singapore, edging out China and Australia to occupy the first and fourth places respectively.
China, Malaysia and Australia are placed second, third and fifth respectively. Apart from increase in tourist arrivals from India, Singapore witnessed a sharp rise in the cruise tourist arrivals too.
“There has been 29 per cent increase in the cruise passenger arrivals from India, which has emerged as number one in the cruise arrival market. Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru are the four key source markets and the STB is engaged in efforts to improve its presence in other cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Tiruchi and Amritsar.”
Over 1.01 million Indians who had visited Singapore last year had spent around Rs 5,293 crore there. According to Mr Srithar, about 39 per cent of the tourist receipts from the visiting Indians are for accommodation.
This indicates that Indians are willing to stay in better hotels and enjoy the comforts, he said and added that demonetisation drive in India had
not dampened the travelling spirit of the Indians.