Tampa, Florida — You've seen the big shows, but IIFA is bringing more than "Bollywood stars" to the Bay area.
It also brings the chance to build global partnerships and do billions of dollars in business.
"Today opens the door to the international gateway for Hillsborough County, Tampa, Tampa Bay and the world," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham.
And the Bay area is looking at a boost in tourism, he added.
That boost is what Florida Governor Rick Scott touted as he welcomed IIFA guests to the state.
"This year we'll have 100 million tourists in our state," he said. "I've had the opportunity to visit India a few times and the compassion, the culture, the energy of India is unbelievable.
But the next few days are about more than just access to more than a billion consumers. It's about making connections face-to-face to propel Tampa businesses forward.
"They're here to find ways to do business, to learn about one another, and that's how all business relationships start," Higginbotham said.
Enterprise Tampa reports that last year Florida exported almost $600 million worth of fertilizer, $315 million in aircraft parts and $50 million worth of batteries. All of which these Tampa business advocates hope to increase.
Mumbai will become Tampa's sister city, "if I have anything to do about it," Higginbotham quipped.