By Nicola Lambert
BRITAIN is gearing up for an Indian summer with the launch of a new Bollywood Britain map and website.
The campaign encourages Indian visitors to follow in the footsteps of their favourite stars and experience the destinations featured in con-temporary and classic Bollywood films.
VisitBritain will distribute 30,000 maps in India to take advantage of the 25 per cent increase in visits last year, which now means that Indians make more visits to the UK than the Japanese.
Tom Wright, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: "Britain has become the popular choice for the world's biggest movie industry and VisitBritain has led the way since 1996 in capitalising on this 'screen magic'.
"Some 23million Indians go to see a film every day and you only have to look at the figures to see that more and more of them are being inspired to visit Britain. Britain's popularity as a Bollywood backdrop can only help us raise our profile among this growing audience and Bollywood Britain will show them all they can enjoy while they are here."
Statistics show that 40 per cent of potential visitors are "very likely" to visit places from films or TV. The map highlights the best areas for shopping, food and drink, sport and British culture.
Thirty Bollywood films feature on the map profiling locations in London, Bath, Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, the Lake District, Oxford, Weymouth and throughout Scotland and Wales. Film-makers have also used iconic attractions such as Blenheim Palace, Cliveden House, Longleat House, Cheshire's Nunsmere Hall, Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire, Waddeston Manor and Shropshire's Walcot Hall. One area which has had booming 'Bolly-wood' success is Wales which has seen visits from India increase by 175 per cent with visitors spending £10m - double the 2005 figures.