Making Sports Tourism work for us

It is a well known fact that Jamaica boast the greatest and fastest athletes that the world have ever see. No matter how they try to beat us, our athletes seem to run faster than they do, and win their various races. In the world of sports Jamaica is known as Sprintland and now our local universities are now competing with universities/colleges overseas in keeping our athletes home so we can train them and develop their skills as well as well as guide and motivate them to repeat the success of current and past athletes.

While we see our athletes representing Jamaica, being its Brand Ambassadors, showcasing their talents, along with inviting persons to visit our lovely little island a thought come to mind on how to capitalize on their success overseas. Sports Tourism. Jamaica is seen as one of the jewel of the Caribbean and thus persons from foreign countries flock to our shores for the three S: Sun, Sea and Sand. Foreign nationals love coming here and for some Jamaica is their number one destination they are repeat customers. They love the warmness of our people, the food especially our jerk chicken, and jerk pork along with our beaches and sports tourism would fit right in.

For our island sports tourism would work in our favour. Not only would we be showcasing our island but also to get foreign nationals to participate in local events. With marathons on the forefront on everyone’s mind, I have seen where overseas marathoners come to the island to not only enjoy the beauty of it, but also to compete in races that are held annually. They will not only be repeat visitors for marathons but also as guests for hotels. Sports Tourism playing a crucial part in our tourism industry.

Sports tourism can also help us to open up other key sports or have other key sports to play a pivotal role in the island or even have other teams come here to train thus creating more visitors to the island. Sports such as the NFL which boast over 25 teams within its roster can host its training camps here in Jamaica, whether at UWI, National Stadium or even at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium thus creating repeat customers to hotels and not only to the big hotels but to smaller hotels a well as villas. This will boost our not only our foreign currency earnigs but also increase the visitor ratio. Through this we can showcase the talents of the island and also create business relationships between teams all around th world.

With the recent completion of the Limacol Cricket Competition, that allowed persons from the different cricket teams played for other teams we saw the influx players from not only Jamaica and Trinidad but also from India, Pakistan and the other Caribbean Islands. With this tournamen being played within the Caribbean, we saw tourists from different nation flocking to our shores for the weekend to see the games being held at our very own Sabina Park. We saw persons who are passionate about this game, who follow the cricket scene and would spend money just to see their favourite player in action. This was said about a recent football/soccer game that was held in Miami, Florida where two major soccer/football teams came to South Florida for an exhibition match. We saw persons as far as Spain, Italy, London along with their South American counterparts who love this game came to watch these two titans battle it out. This feat in turn boosted the revenue not only for the hotels but also for the clubs, restaurants and bars along with the city of South Florida

If Jamaica is serious about its tourism sector, sports tourism is one avenue that can be looked at and be exploited to its maximum. We will advertising Jamaica as the number one spot for sports team to come and train here, but also they can come and enjoy what Jamaica has to offer. Not only will this be a boost in visitors to our shores but also we can showcase Jamaica as the training/relaxation getaway for not only sports players but their families as well.

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