On the Tracks of Musical Screenscapes: Analysing the Emerging Phenomenon of Bollywood Filmi-song Tourism in Iceland

Apoorva Nanjangud*, Stijn Reijnders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Around the world, cities and regions are welcoming tourists after being in the spotlight of popular movies, games, novels, TV series or other forms of popular media culture. Popular Hindi cinema (Bollywood) too has long impacted destination imaginaries and the ensuing travels. What remains scarce in existing research is how its crucial component – Filmi-songs – impacts tourists’ imaginaries of a destination, and consequently how they perform their travels. This study investigates the role and significance of filmi-songs in tourism practices, by focussing on the case-study of ‘Gerua’ from the film ‘Dilwale’ (2015), after which Iceland experienced a rise in Indian tourism. Employing 18 in-depth interviews with tourists, but also various local stakeholders in the business of media-tourism, this study attempts to understand what impact Bollywood songs have on travel motivations of its audiences, how tourists experience the filmi-song location on-site, and finally how the phenomenon is perceived and evaluated by local stakeholders in Iceland. Results show that filmi-song tourists are actively engaged in reconstructing scenes from their beloved filmi-songs by indulging in shot re-creations and song re-enactments. By drawing links between Bollywoodized narratives and locations in Iceland, and by sharing these performances online, these tourist practices contribute to the imaginative heritage of Iceland in the global imagination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-199
Number of pages25
JournalTourist Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No CoG-2015_681663).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

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