As the Caribbean prepares to welcome more than 100,000 visitors to its shores for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, some of the region’s leading media and business professionals are concerned how the global event will affect the region.
Caribbean journalists will gather in Trinidad at the end of February to
follow-up on their CMExPress innings in Kingston, Jamaica last November where they identified the urgent need to resolve issues such as accommodation, opportunities for global advertising, brand building for the region’s tourism industry, and how investments would be utilised afterwards.
“We must determine not only how to come up with appropriate accommodations (and facilities) for the World Cup, but also how to sustain their use after the event is over,” noted Jamaican broadcaster Don Topping.
“The World Cup provides an opportunity for world advertising,” said Topping on behalf of his conference peers. “We need to brand the Caribbean as a whole, as well as individual countries.”
Discussants at the round-table session in Jamaica “widened the boundaries of sustainable tourism” by examining how the global sporting tournament, with its massive following of visitors, will affect Caribbean hospitality, transportation, and health sectors. They also debated cricket’s impact on Caribbean culture and entertainment, as well as on security.
“What about the possibility of providing temporary offshore lodging aboard cruise ships, a matter still to be resolved by authorities?” one delegate asked, when posed with the challenge of dealing with the sudden influx of tourists to the Caribbean.