Shah Rukh Khan’s fans falling in love with Dubrovnik because of his latest movie Fan
The number of Indian tourists in Dubrovnik is increasing rapidly. While 5 000 tourists from India visited this Croatian city in 2015, according to the report published by RTL news on May 4, 2016 this number could go up again this year because a new Bollywood movie called Fan was just released in Indian cinemas and more than 20 minutes of action packed scenes were filmed in Dubrovnik.
The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan, one of the most popular, and certainly highest paid actor in Bollywood, and now his fans are rushing to the movies in their thousands to see their favourite star in action. According to Asiaranking.com, Shah Rukh Khan is the most popular star not only in India but the whole of South East Asia and the second richest actor in the world with an estimated net worth of 600 million dollars, beating superstars like Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp.
“I just got a call from my friend in India and he said – You’re living in a city that Khan keeps talking about. I really want to see it!” says Samar Parmar, a chef in an Indian restaurant in Dubrovnik. His colleague, Rahil Saini is equally happy with his new city: “I keep telling my friends that Dubrovnik is like paradise to me”.
While Rahil and Samar are now living in Dubrovnik and their friends are not the only ones who discovered Dubrovnik thanks to the movie Fan: “As of last week, we’ve been in contact with over 100 agents in India, they’re asking concrete questions and we have involved Dubrovnik agencies as well as hotels in Dubrovnik in their mailing list so we are very actively covering that market” said Romina Vlašić, director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
Some of the tourist guides in Dubrovnik, who already offer Game of Thrones and Star Wars tours, are considering adding a Bollywood tour to their list: “Considering how popular Shah Rukh Khan is, his fans will probably want to know everything about the location of his latest movie” said Ivan Vlahović, Dubrovnik tour guide.
Back to our chefs Samar and Rakul. As they say, Indian tourists are always drawn by beauty and they don’t like to wait long for a visa, but one thing is for sure, when they travel to Croatia they definitely won’t order a buzzara or sarma: “Indian tourists mostly look for Indian food and Croatia unfortunately only has a few Indian restaurants”.
There’s still a lot for us to learn about tourists from this market which we have barely tapped into and with the potential of 10 million tourists per year, but a recommendation from the king of Bollywood is certainly a good start.