(Barbados Nation) Barbados is seeking to host the International Indian Film Awards (IIFA).
A mission, headed by Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, comprising officials from the private and public sector will leave today for Macau, a special administrative region of China, to evaluate the feasibility of hosting the ceremony which honours both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), which, for the past year, has been in talks with Wizcraft, the Mumbai-based organizers of IIFA. Workshops and training in film are also included in the package.
Executive director of the BCCI, Lisa Gale, who is also attending this week’s edition of the ceremony, believes that if it is held in Barbados it would contribute significantly to the economy, particularly tourism and cultural industries.
“In 2011, Toronto witnessed some 40 000 visitors with a spend of $35 million in that one weekend and in 2008, Bangkok reported that tourist arrivals were up by 25 per cent after hosting IIFA,” she said. “I believe with the right logistics in place, Barbados would be an ideal place to host the awards. It would invigorate our ailing tourism product and give the industry a much needed boost given that these awards take place in early summer, a traditionally slow period for Barbados.
“There is also the possibility of tapping into India’s burgeoning leisure travel market.”