The year was 2001. America had just been rocked by the infamous 9/11 attacks. The entire world was shocked and shattered at the same time. Goa, whose economy had just begun to be boosted by tourism seemed to be heading for a bleak future. A question was looming, Will the foreign tourist continue to flock to Goa or not? Dil Chahta Hai provided much relief.
Dil Cahta Hai to the rescue
In the back drop, Dil Chahta Hai had just set the screens on fire. The film was a blockbuster and soon gained a cult following. In the film’s limelight, the Goa tourism department saw an opportunity. A popular channel was about to showcase ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ for the very first time. It was well known that the showcasing would receive a very good response given the film’s popularity.
The Goa tourism department tied up with the channel and film-makers to unleash a promotional blitzkrieg for the film on TV. “We invested Rs.3 crore in the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ campaign by promoting the film’s first release on a popular television channel. It was a tremendous hit. We roped in early nearly Rs.30 crore profit,” said Ralph de Souza GCCI member in a report.
The film as expected did really well on TV. Since majority of the scenes were shot in the state, Dil Chahta Hai brought Goa never before seen popularity. In fact, even today after almost 15 years after the film’s release tourists keep asking their guides about the Dil Chahta Hai fort (Chapora fort). They pose for a photograph at the spot where the lead actors of the film stood and stared into the horizon in an attempt to recreate the scene. Such is the Dil Chata Hai effect on Goa.
“It may sound funny but when tourists come down to Goa they’d ask for the Dil Chahta Hai fort. And I am like, ‘what?’ Then we explain that the film was shot at Chapora Fort.” said Newton Dias (casting director) in a report.