Sports Tourism Niche Vital To Barbados??? Tourism Product

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Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy speaking at a reception for the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens at Hilton Barbados last Friday. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, is calling on tourism marketers and planners to "let their creative juices flow" when seeking to develop additional sports tourism opportunities.

He made this observation last Friday during a reception for the reigning Super Bowl champions’ Offensive Lineman, Ramon Harewood, and his team-mates at Hilton Barbados.

Emphasising the importance of sports tourism as a niche, the Minister said "we have to be prepared to be creative in not only looking at the 60-odd sports that are practised here officially through the National Sports Council, but pursue other opportunities where careers could be created and developed".

Mr. Sealy pointed out that Barbados had made a name for itself in various sports via sports tourism in areas such as International Cricket Council
(ICC) cricket, world championship golf, world class tennis and more recently, in yachting.

"So, we will continue to try to add to the variety of sports tourism offerings and this effort helps us to blaze another trail and we [government] will continue to do that.?? We recognise that major world class sports events can become tourist attractions and, therefore, we are fully aware that the sports tourism niche continues to be important," he said.

The Tourism Minister lauded the efforts of Acting President of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Urban Cumberbatch, Sports Tourism Manager, Gregory Armstrong, and other players for bringing the event to fruition.

Mr. Sealy urged the Baltimore Ravens to host pre-season training or pre-season games here in Barbados, as this would "have a tremendous impact in helping some young Barbadians to realise Harewood’s dream of playing in the National Football League".

Meanwhile, Mr. Harewood said the Big Mon Elite Athletic Development and Training Camp was designed to expose students to the rigours of being a professional athlete.?? "… There is a wealth of talent that needs to be explored and I will introduce the participants to a new level of athletic training.?? This is important to me because somebody reached out, helped me and showed me the way and I want to do something similar to help the youth."??

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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