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The new minister for Tourism and Sports Hon. Navin Dissanayake has invited the leading French TV channel NT 1 from France to film and telecast the prime time TV programme 'Bachelor'( French version) in Sri Lanka in line with the global trend of Marketing tourist destinations via film tourism.
The director Production of Jack Thomas-Richard of TFI Production commended the new direction that Sri Lanka tourism is chanting, given that New Zealand was able to appeal to a wider audience globally was when Lord of the Rings movie was filmed in NewZealand. The initiative also projected New Zealand as an innovative and creative nation and a great place to make films and do business apart from boost to the tourism industry.
Latest insight from the New Zealand institute for economic research reveals that when the film epic Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand almost 6% of the tourists that came to New Zealand attributed the reason for visiting the country was due to the film. Another study revealed that almost 1% of the visitors wanted to see the exact locations that the film depicted which explains the world wide phenomenon of film marketing to develop a countries tourism.
Minister Navin Dissanayake voiced " the popular tv series Bachelor that will be aired in France will be filmed across the world and I am happy that we have been able to get Sri Lanka into the choice set". Episode 1-2 is to be filmed in Spain, 4-5 in Paris, 6-8 in the Alps and episode 9-10 in Sri Lanka. This is a big win for the country and we must pursue this strategy as a Public-private partnership project as the beneficiaries must be the private sector said Minister Naveen Dissanayake.
The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala commented " the programme Bachelor(French version) attracts a viewership of 1.3 million in France and as Hon Minister mentioned it commands a prime time belt. The 3 hour programme can feature some unique locations across Sri Lanka. Given the content of the programme being very youth led it, will reach a new set of potential visitors from France which is the type of quality traveller Sri Lanka must attract". In 2014, there were 78,883 visitors recorded into Sri Lanka from France. Sri Lanka is targeting 100,000 Visitors from France in 2015. The above initiative is one such strategies to achieve the targeted number he said.
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