One of Bollywood’s biggest stars Shahrukh Khan was last night greeted by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Tourism, the Rt Hon. John Key at an event held in Auckland, New Zealand.
SRK is currently on tour with Limelight Entertainment’s Temptation Reloaded show and arrived in New Zealand on Thursday October 3.
He was last night given a traditional Maori welcome and presented with an official New Zealand Black Caps cricket shirt in recognition of his love of the game, and New Zealand’s co-hosting rights to the Cricket World Cup 2015.
Mr Key welcomed SRK’s interest in New Zealand as a potential film location. New Zealand and India have a co-production agreement and in recent years two Indian productions, “I Hate Luv Storys” and “Players” have been filmed in the country.
Mr Key also invited all Indian cricket fans to travel to New Zealand in January-February 2014 when the Indian national team is touring the country, and again in 2015 for the CWC 2015.
Tourism New Zealand has identified India as an emerging tourism market that offers significant growth potential. The organisation has recently expanded its presence and investment in India.
Currently New Zealand welcomes around 30,000 visitors from India each year; Tourism New Zealand’s target is to increase this to 50,000 by 2016.
The country’s co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup 2015 provides a significant opportunity to promote the 100% Pure New Zealand visitor experiences that could be enjoyed by all cricket fans following the tournament.
Tourism New Zealand has also identified the potential for increasing visitor arrivals from India if Bollywood was to again use the country’s spectacular landscapes as the backdrop to their blockbuster films.
SRK thanked his hosts for the warm New Zealand welcome and talked warmly of his previous visit to the country some 12 years ago. He said his son would be thrilled with the Black Caps shirt, as he is a big fan.