Allen Chastanet talks of need to ‘obtain a full understanding of Sports Tourism’
A member of the Board of Directors of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup 2007, has called on the regional media to assist organisers in delivering a successful international competition, to be hosted by the West Indies, and a better understanding of the connection between sports and tourism.
ÊThe appeal is coming from Allen Chastanet, a St. Lucia-based West Indies World Cup representative, who is also proprietor of the island’s newest tourism product Coco Resorts and one of designers of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) which promotes interaction between the media and leading tourism officials.
Speaking ahead of this month’s second one-day meeting of the regional forum - to be attended by journalists from Trinidad, other Caribbean states and North America - Chastanet identified two important roles for journalists on the issue of Sports Tourism which will be featured in Port of Spain.
“They need to obtain a full understanding of Sports Tourism issues, what’s involved in terms of its overall impact on the region and be able to examine the sporting infrastructural investments Government are undertaking so as to ensure they are being utilized to their full potential”, he said.
The former long-serving Vice President of Air Jamaica says that while issues pertaining to the Caribbean’s hosting of the World Cup 2007 are topical and in need of media scrutiny, there were several other sporting disciplines which contributed to the success of Sports Tourism linkages in several Caribbean countries. He cited golf, deep sea fishing, tennis, netball, athletics, football and even domino tournaments, which attract scores of regional and international visitors, including supportive family members, to the Caribbean.
“For a while now, people have been advocating for the creation of a deep sea fishing trophy based on points and in much the same way in golf there is a western wing or a southern tour, we can come up with an arrangement where if you attend a certain number of fishing tournaments in the region, you can qualify for a winning a national prize”, he said.
He said St. Lucia also hosted the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), the biggest yachting event on the calendar which attracted scores of visitors to the island at year-end and which has turned out to be of major economic benefit to the island. “So sports tourism has always been happening particularly on an island like Barbados, but we are beginning to recognize more and more that the Caribbean is ideal for Sports Tourism and we have only just began to scratch the surface”, he said.