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The role of literature and films in promoting tourism in Indian subcontinent

"Chennai Express" movie

Most of the people have a general love for tourism and they are keen to have the soothing as well as the refreshing vibe in their vacations. The books and the movies help them to get the preview of the mesmerizing destinations which make them irresistible from exploring them.

Tourism is such a factor that arouses an urge in people to explore the world unknown to them and injects a positive energy in them. The mention of various places in books and the projection of some of them in movies make people more eager to visit that site at the earliest possible time. From centuries, authors portrayed their favourite familiar places beautifully through their writings in creative ways and the readers wove dreams about the city and got enthusiasm to wander that piece of land. The places shown in the movies appear like dreamlands to the spectators and they start planning to roam about those places with their special ones.

Authors like Jhumpa Lahiri in “Interpreter of Maladies” painted the emotions of characters who had attachments with Bengal. The excellence in portraying Bengal and its traditions and cultures is beyond description. Ruskin Bond has talked about his nostalgic journey back to his birthplace Dehradun in “A Town Called Dehra”. The beautification of the city is clearly documented in that piece of writing and it makes people feel the calm and cosy atmosphere of the town. Being born in Punjab and having a refreshing childhood at the fields there, Kushwant Singh has written about his feelings in his book “Delhi, a Novel”. Not only these, but the movies also play an important role in promoting tourism. The movies like “Kashmir Ki Kali”, “Haider”, “Fitoor” described the beauty of Kashmir and present it as the place of peace and satisfaction, the heaven in Earth. The cold desert of India, Ladakh has been wonderfully projected in the film “3 Idiots” and it has won the hearts of millions of people. The incredible places of the southern part of India have also surprised the viewers with their greenery in some of the films and force the audience to spend a pleasant time with them. Not so popular Munnar in Kerala is getting into the hearts of the people for its beauty which has been brought into light in the films “Chennai Express” and “Life of Pi”. The palaces of Rajasthan have become the remarkable places for the shooting of many movies. The royalty and tradition is one of the most important reasons for that. A lot of people visit the palaces as well as the villages nearby to have a charming experience.

“Life of Pi” movie

Most of the people have a general love for tourism and they are keen to have the soothing as well as the refreshing vibe in their vacations. The books and the movies help them to get the preview of the mesmerizing destinations which make them irresistible from exploring them.

Though tourism is getting boosted day by day, there are a lot of obstacles that tourism is facing at present. At the present scenario, after the lockdown people are getting back to normalcy but they always hinder to think about visiting places after the pandemic as they are concerned for the safety and hygiene. Moreover, the descriptions given about the places in the books are not that catchy and for that they cannot be the sole reason for someone to choose a place for his refreshing moments. The details of a place provided in a book is completely the personal feeling of the author and most of the time people cannot acquire the essence of the place in the same way and they keep themselves away from visiting the place anymore. We can get motivated about something from a book but the implementation of that in one’s life is not possible each time, and so is the case with tourism. People really enjoy to know about an unknown place but they are not that much eager to spend their money to explore it.

The projection of destinations in movies are rather more appealing as it is visually stunning and captivated. But, most of the movies choose popular places as their location and at present time, the primary preference for that is the places in other countries and by doing that they are not contributing in the process of enriching the domestic tourism. With this, the films are not solely concentrated to one particular place, rather the snapshots of many places are picturised in between the scenes at one point of time. So, the spectators cannot get the completeness in that.

Finding the keys

If there is a problem, there is a way too. Tourism is a burning zeal among the people and the books and the movies are acting as fuels to the fire. There needs to be more travel books available to the common people so that they can get to know about the unknown world outside. The readers should feel the aesthetic vibe presented in the book and the author’s feeling with that. The movies should capture the purity of the nature of a place so that it can be implanted inside the spectators and the audience can relate themselves closely to the land and they can feel their presence there. The pathways of the unknown cities should be projected in the screen with the beautiful snowy valleys of the mountains. The creators should choose Indian places to depict the integrity of the country to its people. The projection of the valleys, rivers, temples, forests, beaches should be so vivid that one cannot stop himself to go there and have the same essence by physically being at the site. Add to this, all the proponents of tourism industry need to reorient their services with this effects of literature, cinematography and related means, keeping in view its long lusting effects accelerating travel propensity in this region. Tourism is one of the leading sectors in the economy and it needs to be promoted in every way possible.


Debasish Batabyal
Amity University, Kolkata

Debasish Batabyal, a D.Phil in Management, M.Com., MBA (Tourism), UGC NET in Tourism Administration and Management, has been teaching Travel and Tourism Management (TTM) in Amity Institute of Travel and Tourism Amity University, Kolkata, India. His areas of research interest include tourism entrepreneurship, destination development strategies and cultural & religious tourism. He has written two books and edited four more with reputed international and national publishing houses. He has published a number of research articles in internationally reputed journals of social science viz., Journal of culture and communication, International journal of tourism anthropology, journal of tourism development, revista de turism, journal of tourism etc. He has also co-authored chapter in District Human Development Report (UNDP and Govt. of West Bengal, 2011-12) and District Gazetteer Report (Govt. of West Bengal, 2017-18). He has presented and/or participated as resource persons in thirty five international and/or national conferences, workshop, FDPs and orientation programs in and around India. Also, he is the recipient of one of the prestigious South-South Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) scholarship of ILO to participate in the 11th Social and Solidarity Economy Academy in Madrid, Spain in 2019. For last couple of years, Dr. Batabyal has been working on tourism and hospitality entrepreneurship and got one of his edited volumes, “Global Entrepreneurial Trends in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry” indexed in Scopus.

Priya Sarkar
Jadavpur University

Priya Sarkar, a M.A. in English from Jadavpur University, UGC NET in English, is working as a freelance writer and preparing for PhD in English. Her area of research interest is English Literature and areas related to it. At present she is a part-time teacher. She is looking forward to work in the Literature sector.

Riya Sarkar
Amity University, Kolkata

Riya Sarkar is appearing in B.A in tourism administration from Amity University. She is in her final year and she is seeking for more opportunities in this sector and wants to put herself forward by presenting her ideas through concept notes, research ideas etc.