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15th annual IIFA weekend and Awards generates $26.4 mn economic impact in Hillsborough County

MUMBAI: The International Indian Film Academy’s (IIFA) 15th Annual Weekend and Awards in Florida generated an estimated $26.4 million in total visitor spending, giving an immediate financial boost to Hillsborough County and making a positive, long-term impact on the destination’s brand.

The multi-day event attracted an estimated 30,000 visitors who generated $19.9 million in direct spending and $26.4 million in total spending. Related media coverage generated 13.2 billion media impressions across TV, radio, print and online outlets.

On the final night of the IIFA Awards alone (April 26), Hillsborough County hotels experienced double-digit increases across all indices, including a 21.1 per cent increase in occupancy rate, 34.7 per cent increase in average daily rate and 62.1 per cent increase in room revenue compared to the same day last year. These increases helped bring April’s hotel metrics and bed tax collections to one of the highest levels in Hillsborough County’s history.

IIFA director Andre Timmins said, “We at Iifa are extremely proud of the impact the 2014 IIFA Weekend & Awards had in the Tampa Bay region. This was our premiere event in USA, and every day of the weekend was an astounding success – from the IIFA Stomp event, which started the weekend and drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 8,000 people to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, to the IIFA Awards finale which more than 24,000 people watched live at Raymond James Stadium. Beyond the positive short-term impact of the weekend, we look forward to building a great legacy with the city, developing business, trade and film production relations between India and Tampa Bay, with an estimated economic impact of approximately $56 million within 12 months.”

Visit Tampa Bay president, CEO Santiago Corrada added, “Based on these numbers, it’s safe to say the Iifa celebrations were a tremendous success for our city and our region. During the June television broadcast of the Iifa Awards, more than 800 viewers worldwide will hear the Tampa Bay name, experience our rich authentic culture and see the many treasures our city has to offer.”

IIFA provided Tampa Bay with the opportunity to enter into a new market, host some of Bollywood’s biggest stars and events, allow residents and visitors to experience the universal passion for Indian cinema.