'Life of Pi' inspires government's tourism campaign

With the film ‘Life of Pi’ bagging several awards including 11 nominations at the Oscars, the government is now keen on cashing in on the popularity of the movie to promote tourism in Puducherry and Munnar in Kerala where the Hollywood adventure was partly shot.

Among a slew of measures to promote the two regions as tourist destinations, the Union Tourism Ministry has decided to organise special “Land of Pi” tours and walking trails for those visiting Puducherry and Munnar besides launching a world-wide campaign through its overseas offices to attract tourists. “Maps depicting these tours have already been produced,” a Ministry official said.

A boat hinting at “Life of Pi”, with a stuffed toy tiger will be placed at two prominent locations in Puducherry to provide a photo opportunity to tourists. Two child-safe shallow waters will be developed with one near Puducherry’s Paradise Island and the other at the soon-to-be-inaugurated Puducherry airport.

Luxury buses plying between Chennai and Puducherry and Kochi and Munnar will be branded with “Land of Pi” creatives. T-shirts and caps branding the ‘Land of Pi’ will be produced and distributed among the visitors,  the official said.

“A “Land of Pi” campaign would be launched across all media outlets, Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said. “Land of Pi” posters, produced by the Ministry, will be displayed worldwide through the India tourism offices overseas. These would also be put on the ‘Incredible India’ website and the websites of the Puducherry and Kerala Tourism Departments, he added.

The campaign will be in English, French, German, Chinese, Spanish and Japanese in order to attract foreign tourists. “Online video games will be made as part of the campaign.

Apart from this, ‘Land of Pi’ contests will also be organised online, with two prizes given to winners every month. The prize would be a holiday package to Puducherry or Munnar, including air tickets to Chennai or Kochi and local hospitality,” the Ministry official said.

Many short films and virals on the tourist attractions in Puducherry and Munnar, which were depicted in the movie, have also been created to attract tourists. “One of these has been put on YouTube and other Social Media networks,” the official added.

Chiranjeevi said road shows will be organised in China and Taiwan, where the film was very well received as the director of the film Ang Lee  is of Taiwanese origin.

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