Egged-on by the popularity of Bollywood hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD), there has been a surge in the number of Indians heading to Spain.

“We have witnessed a substantial increase in the enquiries as well as booked holidays for Spain after the destination was promoted in the popular Bollywood movie. For instance, with the popularity of Spain, we have started getting queries for destinations like Costa Brava, Seville, Pamplona, Barcelona and Valencia (that were) featured in the movie,” said Ms Kashmira Commissariat, COO — Outbound Division, Kuoni India.

Spain Package

To cater to the growing response, tour operator SOTC recently introduced a seven-day Spain package, highlighting the La Tomatina festival. SOTC, the outbound travel segment of Kuoni, claims to be the first Indian travel company to organise a trip to the festival, made popular in India by the movie.

La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the southern Spanish town of Buñol, in which participants throw tomatoes at each other. It is held on the last Wednesday in August, a tradition that goes back to 1945.

According to the Spain Tourism officials, more than 70,000 Indians visited the country in 2010 registering a growth of 9.5 per cent over the previous year. “However, during the first six months of 2011, we have seen a growth of 32 per cent in traffic and after the release of the movie, with the interest created, we are hopeful that we will see further growth,” said Ms Madhu Saliankar, market analyst at Tourism of Spain, Mumbai.

Tour operators say that destinations where Bollywood movies are filmed have always been a huge draw with Indians. “Any location featured prominently in a film — whether domestic or foreign — instantly becomes aspirational and popular with travellers. Destinations like Switzerland, Spain and Australia became popular with Indian tourists after being extensively featured in Indian movies,” Ms Commissariat added.

Spain Tourism also had a marketing tie-up with the producers of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara to promote Spain. “After the success of the film, we are working closely with travel agents, helping them with destination information, and in designing itineraries for road trip holidays, which is in demand since the release of the movie,” said Ms Saliankar.