New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) Legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor was not only popular in Russia, but also had his share of fans in China, according to Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni.
Speaking at the Traveller Diamond and Platinum Awards function here Monday night, Soni said she was surprised that Indian films were watched in China, which she recently visited for a cultural event.
"A senior citizen asked me if any Indian film stars or songs would be seen in the festival. When I said no, he said he had grown up listening to the songs of Raj Kapoor's movie 'Awara," Soni recounted.
"I was surprised to see the extent of the penetration of the Indian film industry," she added.
The Diamond Award at the event organised by Today's Traveller magazine was presented to well known producer-director Yash Chopra for his contribution to the Bollywood film industry.
On the occasion, Soni released "The Bollywood Connection", a book which showcases travel and tourism in the country by exploring different spheres of leisure and business.
"The Indian film industry has not only emerged as one of the biggest in the world but is also making quality films," Soni said.
Soni said actor Aamir Khan had been chosen to be the brand ambassador for the 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign of the tourism ministry. Under the scheme, efforts are being made to increase social awareness about the needs of tourists, especially women travellers.