Thursday, December 10, 2009

Outlook for Sport Tourism for 2010

Come 2010, lots of exciting major sporting events will take place around the world, focusing on World Cup Football, scheduled for South Africa. Jamaica’s Reggae Boys will not be participating, but Jamaica will be involved through its administrators of football, Captain Horace Burrell and Horace Reid.

What then can Jamaica do to maintain its position in the marketplace as a sport tourism destination? Lots of great prospects are available and so 2010 should be a year when Jamaica hosts at least two major sporting events to attract large quantities of sport tourists.

Coming off the heels of the performances of the track and field athletes in Berlin in August 2009, the essence of Jamaica is once again the talk of the world and there is so much to be done to keep the island’s name in the market place.

The Inter Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) will celebrate 100 years of the hosting of the greatest high school championship anywhere in the world, so come March 24 to 27 Kingston will be buzzing with excitement. There are already queries being made about hotel rooms and places to go during that time.

The week of March 21 to 28 should therefore be a designated week of funs and activities in Kingston with

- top sport media
- top food network media
- media which focuses on teens
- media which focuses on social lifestyle

Boys and Girls Champs present all that and more and we have exactly three months to plan all these activities. This is another opportunity for the Jamaica Tourist Board and ISSA to partner and make Kingston the place to be March 21 – 28, 2010.

What this means therefore is the restaurants, theatres, night clubs should coordinate as much as possible to handle the audience we will have for Kingston during that time.


World and Olympic record holder, Usain Bolt, played host to thousands of people at the Richmond Estate, St. Ann…Turnkey Production, Headline Entertainment and the UB Management team combined with sponsors to put on the first show of this kind. Highlighting the event was the combination of athletes and entertainers all of whom want to come back to Jamaica. Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic medallist, Richard Thompson says “Jamaica has captured my heart, and I will definitely come back.” The USA star, Wallace Spearmon, fitted in all to well and he has promised to return soon.

On the entertainment side, Ludacris pay respect to Bolt and vows to do a charity event in Kingston at a time to be arranged and there are others on stand by to offer services. Jamaica is alive and well and we MUST make good use of these opportunities.

The Jamaica Tourist Board now has its hands full in determining a strategic approach to capture the imagination of its potential visitors by combining sport, music and the destination to add the diversity to the tourism product, the country so richly deserves.


Plans are afoot for the 2010 renewal, 10th anniversary, after the very successful running on December 5. Kudos go out to Alfred Francis and his team.

Coming attraction: The strong man may be coming to Jamaica sooner than you think.

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