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UNT researches Bollywood’s impact on India

UNT researches Bollywood’s impact on India

UNT researches Bollywood’s impact on India
November 05
09:05 2013

Michelle Tendai Bushe / Intern Writer

A team of UNT professors in collaboration with Professor Kirti Dutta from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans Usha & Lakshimi Mittal Institute of Management in New Dheli have conducted research on the impact of Bollywood in tourism and merchandising.

The research looks at how the Indian film industry influences consumer’s choices in vacation destinations and fashion items.

“There has been virtually no research on this, particularly on the impact of Bollywood movies on tourism,” said Bharath Josiam, UNT professor of hospitality and tourism management.

Josiam visited India for conferences where he met Dutta and found she had common interests and was in a position to help with the research.

Dutta had help from her graduate students, and they gathered data from upper middle class persons in New Dheli though surveys, Josiam said.

Dutta gathered the data through two surveys – one that focused on the influence and impact of Bollywood’s movies on Indians travelling internationally and another on the influence of fashion in India.

“The trigger factor of this is that India is a very large and poor country and Indians did not have the luxury to indulge, so Bollywood brought the world to India,” Josiam said. “The Indian economy has grown since it opened up for a liberal economy. With a population of one billion you can look at the 10 percent that have enough money to travel abroad, that’s a lot of people.”

Dutta could not be reached for comment.

According to the research surveys, Switzerland is viewed as the most romantic destination for Indians because of the mountains and the snow that make a beautiful back drop for movies.

Research in the United States has also been conducted and the U.S. News & World Report’s travel website showed the top 15 honeymoon destinations were in Europe, none of which were Switzerland.

Romantic Bollywood films have been shot in Switzerland with lovers in the snow, and many Indians have never seen snow.

These are some of the factors that make it more desirable as a travel destination.

Josiam said the research is a great source for all who want to tap into the Indian economy through tourism and or merchandising.

The research is presented at conferences for academic purposes to get it published in scholarly journals.

“What we are doing is bringing the world to our students,” he said.

Tammy Kinley, chair of UNT Department of Merchandising and Digital Retail, said her academic research focused on tourism and shopping so this project was a natural extension.

“A part of the research was to see whether movies impact the product choice of Indians,” she said.

Although research about movies and the impact they have on society has been conducted before there has never been a study that focused on the Indian consumer market and the effect of Bollywood on tourism and product consumption.

“Our faculty are well rounded and we look at hospitality as part of the customer experience,” Kinley said.

Feature photo: Hospitality and tourism management professor Bharath M. Josiam stands in front of a photo he took while in India. Josiam is part of a team that conducted research on the Bollywood film industry. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer

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