Johnson Johnrose, Communications Specialist for the Caribbean Tourism Organization, caught up with Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy at the World Travel Market and had the opportunity to discuss why Barbados is focusing on sports tourism at the event.
JOHNSON JOHNROSE: I’m looking here, and your theme this year is all about sports. Why?
RICHARD SEALY: Well, the sports tourism fusion has worked extremely well for Barbados in the past, and we have been taking it to another level, trying to involve as many of the sporting activities that we have in Barbados within the context of our tourism product offering. So our theme in this period, the “Year of the Sport,” it is not by chance, of course. Next year our major source market will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2012. So to come to World Travel Market at this point in time and celebrate with sports tourism fusion is indeed appropriate. So Gary is with us once again to helping to promote the destination, promote the Clobi Cup, which is the Legends Cricket. As a matter of fact, it starts later this week, and obviously cricket generally and international cricket, and so on.
But we’ve also been able to launch the Sporting Barbados website. Sporting Barbados has been producing a quality magazine now since 1998, and we’ve used that quite a bit in promoting the destination, particularly with the sports tourism fusion. Now they are going online in keeping with the strategy that we’ve been promoting of having an e-commerce platform for our tourism, so we welcome that opportunity.
We had the Hampshire Cricketers here earlier. The Hampshire partners with us, of course. We are the official destination sponsor of Hampshire. You will notice when they are playing, they have the “Visit Barbados” logo on their chest so we are happy to see them here and, of course, Chelsea. Some of the Chelsea footballers will also be coming to the stand as well, so we are very much celebrating the sport tourism fusion that has worked so well for us over the years.