Australia features as the honeymoon destination of the lead couple of Bade Acche Lagte Hain, one of India's most popular and award-winning TV shows.
The show features Indian television superstars Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar playing a newly married couple honeymooning in Australia.
The series - a partnership between Tourism Australia, with support from Destination New South Wales, Sony Entertainment Television and Balaji Telefilms - aims to showcase Australia as a romantic getaway destination to audiences across India.
Iconic scenes of Australia - including sequences filmed in and around Sydney - will be featured in at least eight episodes, as part of the honeymoon sequences involving the lead couple. The episodes will begin broadcasting from November 21 and are expected to be watched by more than 25 million Indian viewers.
Commenting on the partnership, Maggie White, Regional General Manager, South, South East Asia and Gulf, Tourism Australia, said: “This association gives us a great opportunity to feature Australia on mainstream Indian television. Australia already enjoys huge appeal as a premium honeymoon destination among Indian audiences and with initiatives like these we look forward to encouraging positive conversations about Australia and another good season of honeymoon travel.”
Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India, Tourism Australia said: “Bade Acche Lagte Hain is one of the most popular shows on television currently and an apt medium for us to communicate to our potential honeymoon audience.
"The profile of the lead couple on the show matches that of our target audience and we are optimistic that the Australia episodes of the show will be well received."
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase hopes the exposure given to the city and state will entice even more Indians to choose Sydney and its surrounds as their next holiday destination.
“Sydney is the most visited region in Australia by Indian visitors. In the year ending June 2011, NSW welcomed an additional 10,000 visitors from India – a 17 per cent growth from the previous year. In the same period, total overnight expenditure from visitors from India reached $219 million,” Ms Chipchase said.
The honeymoon episodes were shot in the pulsating city of Sydney, focusing on quintessential Sydney experiences including the iconic Sydney Opera House, Bondi beach, market streets in Sydney’s Central Business District, the Botanic Gardens and Sydney Cricket Ground, amongst others.
Living up to their onscreen persona, the lead couple have been shown living the high life and indulging in some of the most exclusive holidaying experiences, including a sea plane ride, harbour cruise, Ferrari drive and a visit to the luxurious Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. Apart from the city of Sydney, surrounding regions have also been featured in the filming, including the Grand Pacific Drive and a visit to the Blue Mountains.
Ekta Kapoor, Creative Director and Joint Managing Director, Balaji Telefilms, said: “Balaji Telefilms shares a bit of history with Australia having been here a few years ago to shoot for our earlier shows – Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, which received great feedback from the audience”.
"Australia is extremely picturesque and the perfect place for romance. The landscape, nature, abundant choices of dreamy resort locations, wilderness and adventure makes it an ideal backdrop as a romantic getaway and a preferred choice for us to film the honeymoon sequence of the lead couple of Bade Acche Lagte Hain," she said.
Ram Kapoor, Lead actor, Bade Acche Lagte Hain added: "It was my first visit to Australia and I am awed by the beauty and diversity of this country. Some of the activities that we did like the Ferrari drive and a visit to the SCG are amongst my personal favourites and experiences that I will cherish always. Filming in Australia has been a fabulous experience and I look forward to visiting again!”
Sakshi Tanwar, Lead actress, Bade Acche Lagte Hain “We had a fantastic time during the entire shoot in Australia and indulged in some of the most incredible experiences. The people of Australia have been very warm and friendly which has made our experience in this beautiful country even more special. I would love to be back and enjoy a vacation in Australia.”
India is Australia's 11th largest inbound market for international visitors, with 137,800 arrivals last year, up 12%, and spending US$0.8bn Tourism Australia believes there is potential to grow this market to between US$1.9bn and US$2.3bn by 2020.