Business Times

Sri Lanka to spend US$ 9 mln for IIFA Awards, returns assured

By Bandula Sirimanna

Sri Lanka is to spend a staggering $9 million for the glittering International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards ceremony and its connected events anticipating a return on investment of US$ 126 million, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bueau (SLTBP) Dileep Mudadeniya told the Business Times.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the press conference convened to announce the arrangements of the 11th edition of the Bollywood star-studded, mega IIFA Awards ceremony to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo from June 3 to 5. He said the public relation value of the event exceeds Rs. 4 billion. The total cost will be borne by sponsors, he said.

When asked about likely threats against the IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan by a Tamil group in Tamil Nadu, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Laxman Yapa Abeywardane said that such things will not affect the IIFA events in Sri Lanka.

He added that he received information that Wizcraft personnel in India , the organisers of the show met representatives of these protesters and settled the matter.

The SLTBP hopes to attract at least 100,000 more Indian tourists by staging the IIFA weekend which will be a culmination of mega events that brings Indian cinema to the world. The IIFA weekend includes the high-profile FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, the IIFA Foundation Fashion Extravaganza, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match, World premieres of Indian films, IIFA Film Workshop and the climax of the Weekend, the spectacular IIFA Awards.

Over 200 Indian business leaders along with several of their foreign counterparts are expected to attend the IIFA Global Business Forum to be held at Colombo Hilton on June 4. The show will be telecast worldwide to an audience of over 600 million in 110 countries by Star TV using equipment of Sri Lanka’s Rupavahini Corporation, he said. Over 300 media personnel from around the world will be covering these events giving much needed positive foreign exposure to Sri Lanka after the end of the 30- year conflict.

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