World Sport Destination Expo (WSDE) today organised an exclusive reception for travel and tourism senior officials, international media and the current superstars of world athletics at the close of the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Berlin.
WSDE - the ground-breaking sport tourism exhibition, which will be co-located alongside next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup on 5-9 July 2010 – used the VIP reception to show-case the $600 billion a year inter-linked potential of sport travel and tourism.
The top-level gathering commended Jamaica’s successful leverage of its sporting heroes at the IAAF World Athletics Championships and the island’s ambitions to become a sport tourism front runner.
Guest of honour was the undoubted superstar of world sport, Usain Bolt, who endorsed the address from Jamaica Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Mr Bartlett said “The last 9 days has proven beyond doubt that the power of sport can redefine a nation’s world-wide perception and the natural synergies can revolutionise a destination’s travel and tourism industry.”
He continued “Jamaica has successfully utilised the relationships we have with our partners and stakeholders here, including tour operators TUI and sportswear giants Puma, and the power of our elite athletes to revolutionise the nation’s brand and to drive future tourism growth. We are anticipating very rich rewards.”
Chris Frost Director WSDE, says ”After numerous meetings with other sporting destination during IAAF World Athletics Championships here in Berlin, the message is that other destinations will follow suit and mirror the success of the Jamaica Tourist Board”.
With over 500,000 international sport tourists and 22,000 media expected to attend next year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, World Sport Destination Expo 2010 will offer an unrivaled platform to promote destinations and sports resorts and to sign new contracts with pre-invited top buyers of sport tourism products and services.
With the 10,000 sqm exhibition space selling out fast, Gianni Merlo, President of the International Sport Press Association said today:
“If you represent a city or region eager to win the rights to host major sporting events, if your hotel or resort offers sporting facilities, if you are a facilitator of sport tourism, or a member of the international sports media I urge you to participate in this world-class sport tourism event.”