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Jamaican Tourism Minister establishes Sports Tourism Implementation Committee

Ministry of Tourism | 2012-09-10 00:00:00

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon Dr. Wykeham McNeill has announced the establishment of a Sports Tourism Implementation Committee (STIC) with a view to converting the vast potential of sports tourism in Jamaica into practical initiatives and tangible output. The committee will support and complement the work of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Ministry of Sports and its agencies. 

 The Minister made the announcement while speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Soccer Cup Tournament at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel recently. He said, “I view this initiative as a positive indication of the possibilities of sports tourism as we move to implement more and more tangible elements, and continue to develop a sports tourism policy in tandem with the Ministry of Sports.”

 The committee is chaired by Chris Dehring, CEO of LIME and former Managing Director and CEO of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, and its mandate is to identify and work with both local and overseas interests to create sporting focused events and activities. It is to effectively exploit the athletic dominance of Jamaica which was highlighted at the recent London Olympics and in the process actualize sporting opportunities for Jamaica’s tourism industry.

In outlining the rationale behind the committee’s formation, Minister McNeill explained that an expansion of the tourism market is what is desired. “For our tourism sector to develop in the long term we must diversify our market segments, and in order to do this we need to attract and sustain new segments such as sports tourism by providing a wider range of offerings in our product portfolio.” He noted that “the potential for developing sports tourism as a viable market segment in Jamaica is tremendous. Especially in the aftermath of Jamaica’s dominance in track and field at the recent London Olympics, now is the time to harness this potential.” 

 Other members of STIC are Chairman of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Technical Committee and recently appointed Development Officer for the CONCACAF region of FIFA, Howard McIntosh, Zachary Harding and President of the Business of Sports and Usain Bolt’s publicist, Carole Beckford. The committee also includes CEO of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), Michael Hall, hotelier Jason Henzell of BREDS Treasure Beach Foundation - operators of the 17-acre integrated multi-purpose sports park in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth and Senior Communications Strategist within the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and former Director of Tourism, Basil Smith.

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