Recently, an article in Economic Times listed Bollywood actors/actresses who endorse tourism projects. As I read through the list, there were a few predictable “Bollywood celebrity-state tourism” tie-ups. For instance, Rajnikanth and Preity Zinta are brand ambassadors for their native states – Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh respectively.
Then, there are some Bollywood celebrities who choose to endorse an Indian state that is not their native. For instance, Amitabh Bachchan – the legendary actor from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh – has chosen to advertise for Gujarat state’s tourism.
These alluring advertisements of Gujarat tourism (featuring the legendary AB) have hit the jackpot! The state’s tourism has seen a drastic increase in tourists (after AB’s endorsement) including a 30 percent rise in foreign travelers!
Amitabh Bachchan is not the only Bollywood celebrity who does not endorse his native state’s tourism. To give him company are Shahrukh Khan and Prachi Desai. Shahrukh Khan endorses West Bengal’s tourism while Prachi Desai is Goa tourism’s brand ambassador.
The last star in the list – Akshay Kumar – is endorsing neither his
native state Delhi nor any other Indian state. He has chosen to endorse the American country of Canada. Soon, you will see Akshay Kumar in advertisements recommending Canada’s heritage monuments, national parks, food, and even culture to Indians. Salman Khan too has recently featured in a tourism advertisement for Cuba!
If Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan do (for Canada and Cuba respectively) what AB has done for Gujarat, then imagine this – Canada and Cuba might receive more number of Indian tourists than many Indian states themselves!!
It surely seems like a wake-up call for tourism ministries in Indian states and a new way of revenue generation for Bollywood celebrities !!
By the way, have you seen any advertisements of Canada featuring Akshay Kumar? I haven’t!!