“Sports tourism is much bigger than sports events or tourism”, so says
Tourism Officer Andrew Welch of Trinidad and Tobago. Welch made the
disclosure at the third Sports Tourism forum held at the Guyana
Olympic Association, Liliendaal today.
According to Welch, Guyana is the new frontier for sport tourism.
However, he cautioned, in order to capitalise on this opportunity, the
government must prepare its citizens by including them in every aspect
which also includes training.
“For tourism to work, we have to train the citizens. If we do not
train the citizens, the us and them syndrome kicks in. If we do not
train children about tourism, we will have challenges; then is we
train the children and not talk to the adults, you are simply hitting
your head against a wall. Then training the adults and not taking it
further to the full community; again, you are hitting your head
against a wall” Welch said.
He also pointed out that the crafters of sport tourism packages must
be aware of the fact that sportsmen and women who attract fans, often
cannot tour the country because of time constraints resulting from
their busy schedules. He also noted that persons do not visit a
country exclusively for the sporting event and that it is crucial to
have packages available to capitalise by making communities a part of
Director General of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Donald Sinclair made
a pitch to local sporting associations to plan ahead in order to take
advantage of upcoming events.
“The whole idea is that we can create a sports tourism calendar but
what makes that task difficult is last minute planning on the part of
some sports associations. Come November 2018 you must know what is
going to be happening in 2020. That tells us you are forward-looking
in your vision” Sinclair stated.
Garfield Wilshire of the Guyana Olympic Association said that the
forum comes at an opportune time since Guyana is currently set to host
the first ever stand-alone Women’s World T20 Cricket. He noted that
such events have a direct impact on the economy from spending done by