Faith and sports tourism: Way forward for Grenada?


ST. GEORGE’S, GRENANDA (eTN) – The head of a religious organization has said that the Grenada National Stadium should be marketed as a venue for both sport and faith tourism activities.

Archbishop John Noel of the Grenada Chapter of the Universal Ecclesiastical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc. has said: “Faith tourism is one area you can guarantee that will always be there, if other tourism areas such as heritage, diving or honey moon collapse, faith by human nature will always be there, faith will continue and faith tourism is now a big business, so Grenada should see its importance and take steps to benefit from it.”

“We have the setting in Grenada, the stadium is an excellent place for the gathering of religious groups and once the proper marketing is done I am certain that the revenue gain will be a source for sustainable use for the facility,” said Noel, whose organization is currently preparing to host the annual Spiritual Baptist and Indigenous groups week of activities which will run from March 9 to 16, 2008.

Coordinated by the Grenada Chapter of the Universal Ecclesiastical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc, the week of activities will bring together 250 delegates from other Caribbean islands, USA, London, Canada and Africa and the more than 20,000 collective members of the spiritual Baptist and indigenous groups on the island.

“We will be coming together to give thanks to God for his blessings on the island and at the same time openly displaying our African spiritual culture,” Noel explained. “As the offspring of African slaves, aspects of our religion are probably the only thing that we all have in common, so we are coming together as indigenous groups to celebrate our African legacy.”

He added: “I believe that the exposure that the visiting delegations will receive will encourage them to host some of their activities in Grenada, can you imagine the exposure Grenada will receive if hundreds of our religious brothers and sister share their positive experience from this week of activities, faith tourism is very important to many other destinations and its time Grenada gets it share of the market.”

Noel also reiterated his belief that “faith tourism” can bring significant opportunities to the development of the tourism sector.