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Tourism chiefs hope for Bollywood spin-off

Tourism chiefs are targeting lovestruck Indian couples in an attempt to put Ireland, north and south, on top of a list of romantic holiday destinations.

The romantic thriller ‘Ek Tha Tiger' is being released in more than 3,000 cinemas across India today and Tourism Ireland hopes that it will attract young couples to these shores.

Shot partly in Dublin last year, the movie is tipped to do well at the box office as one of the Bollywood blockbusters of 2012. It is being released in 24 countries and will target a global audience of over 100 million.

It comes just days after it was revealed that talks on a deal between Northern Ireland Screen and Mumbai-based movie producers are at a crucial stage and could see an action film being shot in Belfast next month.

If given the green light, the cast and crew of ‘David’ will roll into town for nine days of filming.

And the team is hoping to cast up to 500 extras for the huge production.

Bollywood ‘bad boy' Salman Khan and industry favourite Katrina Kaif meet and fall in love in Dublin in the new movie.

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The plot is based around an Indian secret agent, Tiger (Salman Khan), who must stop the selling of secret missile-technology secrets to Pakistan.

The film, whose title means ‘once there was a tiger' was filmed at various locations around the world, including India, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Chile. The Irish scenes feature familiar landmarks including Trinity College, Temple Bar and the Ha'penny Bridge.

Tourism Ireland — which promotes tourism both north and south of the border — says the movie will help to make India's growing middle and upper classes aware of Ireland.

The agency's boss, Niall Gibbons, said Bollywood films had a “considerable influence on Indian travellers when deciding on holiday destinations”.

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