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Ireland vies to host IIFA awards in 2010

After the 2007 International Indian Film Academy awards in Yorkshire proved a money-spinner for the region, the neighbouring Ireland is now vying to host the 2010 edition of the glittering high-profile ceremony.

entertainment Updated: May 06, 2008 18:47 IST

After the 2007 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Yorkshire proved a money-spinner for the region, the neighbouring Ireland is now vying to host the 2010 edition of the glittering high-profile ceremony.

A committee has been formed in Ireland to lobby and host the IIFA awards in 2010. Local officials hope the event will inject 20 million pounds into the local economy.

The glitz and glamour of Bollywood - including brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan - had descended on the Yorkshire region in June 2007 for the widely televised awards.

Several events were held during the weekend in Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and nearby areas, including a cricket match at Headingley.

Much to the delight of local tourism and trade officials, the 2007 IIFA awards generated a local spend of nearly eight million pounds.

A delegation from the IIFA has twice visited Ireland to meet government and tourism representatives.

A senior manager of Tourism Ireland, the official tourism body, will attend the 2008 IIFA awards ceremony in Bangkok next month, along with a delegate from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

A spokesman for Seamus Brennan, Irelands Minister for Arts, said there would be benefits to hosting the awards, particularly in terms of raising Ireland's profile in India and Asia.

"Before any commitment could be given to provide public funding for such an event, a robust cost and benefit assessment would have to be undertaken that would need to show real benefits in terms of the promotion of Ireland overseas and the attraction of international visitors," the spokesman said.

A Tourism Ireland spokesman said the body welcomed any opportunity to promote Ireland in emerging markets.
"India and China are two new important markets and if we are to continue to grow business, the tourism industry must expand its focus beyond traditional core markets and look to realise the opportunities presented by new and developing markets," the spokesman said.

Officials hope that noted Indian entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar, who is also the Irish consul in Bangalore, will join the committee formed to invite the IIFA awards to Ireland in 2010.