[ New Zealand ]Yesterday, big screens in India saw the premiere of one of the much anticipated and talked about Bollywood films of the year- 'I hate luv storys' . The audience, specially the college going and the young (working and earning good) crowded cinema halls to view the soft simple plot set for the two of India's heartthrobs- Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor.
Being a romantic Indian film, it was important to have a picturesque destination that could ameliorate the aura of the film to next level. For the same purpose, the producers of the film chose the exotic Queenstown in New Zealand. And this is how the celestial destination - Queensland has got a celluloid expression in one of World's largest film industries - Bollywood.
The inside story of the days when the crew of the movie was shooting in Queenstown is full of pleasant memories and mesmerized souls. The entire unit was grounded by the picturesque landscape of the place and the unmatched hospitality of the local people.
A quick glance through the land of Queenstown reveals the reasons behind the astonishment of the film crew. The geographic location of the place with majestic mountains all around with the glittering water of the Lake Wakatipu spells bound the visitors on the very first look.
The Southern Lake region of Queenstown gives you a near heaven feel with the lofty mountains and a diversely coloured cultural heritage. The hospitality of this region is well known as it finds place in many creations of various poets, artists, authors and musicians.
Places like the Arrowtown, Fiordland, Glenorchy, Te Anau and Manapouri are bestowed with some of Mother Nature's most beautiful creations. They are home to lush green valleys and deep dense virgin forests, snow enveloped peaks and glacier laden rivers.
The urban areas, besides being lapped in some scenic backgrounds offers fine wide streets, shopping centers and markets, art studios and galleries, classy cafés and modern restaurants.
The sublime scenery of the area is well supplemented by some spine chilling adventure sports like bungee jumping, para gliding, white water rafting, skydiving, hang gliding and jet skiing.
Don't be mistaken by the primal looks of the Queenstown; looks are deceptive when it comes to this part of the world. The nightlife here is also no less note worthy with parties that run from dusk to dawn in the 160 odd licensed bars and cafés in downtown Queenstown. Excellent DJ and live Jazz performance mixed with a smooth wine makes up the platform for a rocking night out.
And this is very much evident from what the leading lady of the film under title says about Queenstown, “Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. The landscape is spectacular and very diverse... The people are extremely warm and friendly and I love the food!"
The overwhelming response from the Indian film industry has opened up new avenues for tourism in Queenstown as Kiran Nambiar, the Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager for South East Asia observes, “With total holiday arrivals from India increasing by almost 20 per cent for the year ending November 2009, I Hate Love Storys is a Tourism New Zealand initiative to ensure this growth continues."
India, the country with a billion plus population and a wide spread media is a prospective and booming platform for any travel destination to foray into. And what better than the highly captive media like cinema! Apart from the in-film exposure, the talking points that it would generate in the masses through reviews and analysis is worth some million buck