Daily Archives: July 14, 2013

Barbados must act to build a major convention centre… or lose everything

Our competition: The Venetian Macao

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

In the first week of this month a mission left Barbados for Macau, a special administrative region of China, to attend the 13th International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) ceremony which took place on 5th July.

Headed by Minister of Culture, the Hon. Stephen Lashley, this public and private sector delegation was the brainchild of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and intended to hopefully bring the event to our shores next, or in a future year.

Macau, like many of the other venues where the function has been staged, is an extremely difficult act to follow. By reclaiming the land between two islands, a Las Vegas in the Orient was created which boasts so many attributes – including the world’s largest casino, the Venetian Hotel, with its 3,000 suites and a conference facility that can seat 15,000 people theatre style.

This year’s anticipated global television audience was estimated at 800 million and that’s before you add YouTube and all the other social media sites and conventional media coverage.

I am sure all those involved in the evaluation did a great deal of research prior to the visit as clearly there are some real challenges if Barbados is successful in securing any bid.

For instance, when IIFA  2012 took place in Singapore, the attending actors alone occupied over 400 rooms in the Grand Hyatt Hotel. We then have to think about the Awards ceremony itself, which has attracted up to 3,000 attendees . Currently our largest meeting facility at LESC can only accommodate around 1,200 to 1,400 people seated in a single space. Continue reading

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