Nepal not confirmed as host nation of 20th edition, says IIFA

IIFA Awards 2019

As Nepal mulls over whether or not to allow the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) to be held in Nepal amidst widespread criticisms that Nepal hosting the awards ceremony is a threat to national sovereignty, prestige and independence and the amount the government is spending to IIFA is too high, the IIFA has responded saying that Nepal has not been confirmed as the host of the 20th edition of the Awards.

IIFA has also refuted the reports in Nepalese media that Nepal has been chosen as the destination and added that it is not responsible and has any kind of involvement in any recent media activity relating to Nepal and does not endorse any event details provided.

IIFA also said that the management is still weighing options on where to hold the ceremony, which is held in an exotic foreign location every year.

Earlier, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had clarified that Nepal will host the IIFA Awards only if it benefits the country and support Visit Nepal 2020 program. He also denied the reports the Nepal government is spending more than a billion rupees to host the ceremony while condemning the rumors as conspiracies aimed at disrupting the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.

“IIFA provides host destinations several benefits which range from a $200m media campaign that raises the profile of the host destination; tourism boost that varies from 35-50% increase; improvement of tourism yield through introduction to higher value tourists; business investment in the host destination; training and education of young students in event management; influx of film and television productions; improved distribution for host nation’s films in India as well as joint productions being initiated between Indian filmmakers and producer/directors from the host destination; at least 35% increase in visitors and spending in the host nation’s economy. This is in addition to $35m in immediate spend in the economy through event spending and IIFA visitors through tourism, retail, travel, etc. triggered in the host nation’s economy,” IIFA said it a statement, as reported by Masala.

“Looking at the compelling benefits, several countries and destinations are always interested in hosting the IIFAs. Over the last 19 years over 14 unique cities, 12 different countries and 4 continents have had the privilege of hosting the glamour-studded IIFA which is rich in business opportunities. In its 20th year, IIFA remains the most sought-after annual event by tourism and economic policymakers to boost their economies,” it further stated.

“Keeping this in mind several countries and picturesque destinations are in the consideration set. While there have been several unconfirmed stories coming from Nepal about the Himalayan nation being the chosen one, the IIFA management would like to confirm that while Nepal is one of the destinations being considered, no final decision has been taken so far.”

“Fans, media and stakeholders of IIFA are advised not to believe the rumors or statements about Nepal having been chosen as the destination for the next IIFA. While IIFA respects the passion and wishes of its fans in Nepal and the country’s government and Tourism board, IIFA’s management team continues to deliberate, consider and weigh its options; IIFA fans are advised not to make any travel plans at this point,” the statement further reads.

Wiz Andre Timmins, Director- Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFA movement also confirmed that Nepal has not been confirmed as the host nation.

“Over the years, IIFA has established multiple tangible and intangible benefits along with tremendous positive impact for the host destinations including tourism increase, business & trade, short & long term economic impact, destination marketing and film shooting commitments to name a few. As a result of the positive achievements and results in previous destinations, countries bid for IIFA and we receive invitations to explore global cities for consideration every year. Nepal was just one of the countries bidding for IIFA in 2019 and IIFA had not yet confirmed Nepal as the host for our 20th Edition,” he said.

“IIFA is not responsible and has not been involved in any of the recent media activity relating to Nepal and does not endorse any event details provided. Any speculation being made by media has been as a result of Nepal Tourism board and Kathmandu Metropolitan City going ahead without due authority and permission to speak about our global brand-IIFA coming to Nepal on their own accord.  This has been in spite of IIFA brand regulations barring them to speak publicly about the discussions until the bid submission made by them is reviewed, assessed and formally accepted by IIFA with legal contracts being exchanged. In lieu of the recent of events, since IIFA had not confirmed Nepal as the official host destination we will be taking a legal stance on this matter”.