Sports tourism conference set for April 29

GINA Guyana, Friday, April 28, 2017

The hosting of a sports tourism conference slated for Saturday, April 29, 2017 will set the stage for the kick-off of a major sports tourism industry in Guyana.

The conference, facilitated by the Ministry of Business’, Department of Tourism, will be held at the Pegasus Hotel.  Participants are expected to include representatives of sports associations, sports administrators, tourism and business entities, the National Sports Commission (NSC), and representatives from the diplomatic corps.

Delivering the key note address will be St Lucian- based Sports Consultant, Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira who made a courtesy call on Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, today.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, Director General, Department of Tourism, Donald Sinclair and St. Lucian based Sports Consultant, Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira

Minister Gaskin said that he was happy to witness the collaboration between his Ministry and the various sports organisations. He described sports tourism as a viable and sustainable component of Guyana’s overall tourism product, adding that it has a contribution to make towards the nation’s development.

“I am particularly happy that Mr. Reds Perreira can be a part of this workshop to share with those in attendance some of his own experiences…We understand that tourism has to be developed from the ground up, and those involved have to understand that they are participating in something that has an economic value, and has a contribution to make to our economy,” Minister Gaskin explained.

The Minister further noted that sports cannot only be seen as a competition, as it has the potential to bring people to Guyana. “I have seen Guyana host regional and international competitions, and I have seen the amount of people who can end up being in Guyana because of one single event…kids come to Guyana for an event, they ring their parents, and before you know it 200 people are in Guyana and these are all tourists, and we have the attractions to show them,” Minister Gaskin emphasised.

Director General, Department of Tourism, Donald Sinclair said sports tourism is one of the areas the ministry has identified that has significant growth potential. “We feel that we are on to a good thing with these initiatives. There are some significant sports that have potential for forming the base for sports tourism and our products,” he explained. Sinclair added that the event will provide the opportunity for participants to share their views on what is needed to kick-off a successful sports tourism industry locally.

Meanwhile, Perreira said that Caribbean countries including Jamaica and Grenada are involved in successful sports tourism, (it’s a niche market for them.)  He said that while it will take some time to spin-off in Guyana, the country already has the infrastructure in place that will support the development of the industry. “There is the infrastructure available and it’s only a matter of time before the components work together to track down not only the Caribbean, but attracting North America and the United Kingdom,’ he said.

By: Synieka Thorne

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