The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has established a Working Group from among its membership to work with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in planning for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. It comprises representatives from CTO, the Caribbean Hotel Association, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, the airlines, the travel agencies, CTO Chapters and some twelve cricket playing CTO member countries, CTO chairman Obie Wilchcombe has said. “The World Cup is expected to move vast numbers of cricket fans to the region and the organisers of the event view the tourism stakeholders as strategic partners,” said Mr. Wilchcombe.
The CTO chairman appointed the Working Group after Chris Dehring, managing director of the 2007 World Cup made a presentation to the CTO board of directors, which includes ministers and commissioners of tourism and the private sector, on what is required for the West Indies to stage a successful event.
During the presentation, which was made at the invitation of CTO, Mr. Dehring said that among the many challenges for the organisers will be the transportation and accommodation of the estimated 100,000 visitors and 16 cricket teams.
He stressed that the region`s tourism sector had a vital role to play in the planning process.
“The opening ceremony should be planned by tourism to showcase the incredible melting pot of talent that the Caribbean is, including the countries that do not play cricket,” Mr. Dehring told the CTO board of directors.
Jean Holder, CTO`s secretary general, said that CTO had learned a great deal about what was involved in planning the various aspects of the overall World Cup 2007 program and that the regional tourism body would work with the WICB to plan for “this major tourism opportunity.”
“We want to take on the challenge that he (Dehring) has laid out in a way that will involve all the tourism sub-sectors and will work with the WICB over the next three and a half years to play our part in the success of the 2007 World Cup,” said Mr. Holder.
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