A bhelpuri seller's business on Juhu beach in Mumbai picked up after a song from Rajesh Khanna-starrer Anand, shot on the beach, came out, said Mahesh Bhatt Friday, pointing out the power of cinema that boosts tourism on the home turf as well as offshore.
The famed filmmaker says the movies are akin to magic carpet.
"Movies are like magic carpets to the consumers. I remember talking to a bhelpuri seller
near Juhu beach, who said that a song (Zindagi kaisi hai paheli) from Anand was shot here and his business
increased after the movie. So, it's true that wherever Bollywood goes, tourism follows", Bhatt said at a session on
Bollywood and Tourism organised at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Tourism Summit.
However, he said that shooting in Mumbai, hub of Hindi cinema, has become a nightmare.
"States are not waking up to the need of providing filmmakers easy access to shooting, except for places like Gujarat and Madhya
Pradesh, who are taking the initiatives", he said.
Bhatt, who directed films like Arth, Zakhm and Aashiqui, stressed the need for a single-window
clearance for filmmakers.
"Once that comes through, it will ease out a lot of things. India has a cinematic workforce and it can be
nothing short of paradise for foreign tourists and filmmakers. It is up to us how we can keep this romance between
Bollywood and tourism going", he said.
To improve the inflow of foreign filmmakers in the country, the need is to stop being over cautious, he added.