CARICOM to Set Up Regional Task Force on Sports Tourism

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Above: Grenadian World Champion sprinter Kirani James

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The CARICOM Council on Human and Social Development has agreed to establish a regional task force on sports tourism, following the group’s meeting in Guyana last week.

The task force would develop a strategy for harnessing the Caribbean’s potential in sports to aid tourism.

“The time may have come for us to set up a regional task force to assess the situation of Caribbean sports with a view to fully harnessing its potential,” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said at the meeting’s opening ceremony last week.

LaRocque said the region could no longer underestimate the “added value” of sports in fostering the social and economic development of people, families and communities.

The meeting looked at how the sporting industry accounts for 2.5 percent of world trade, with sporting events potentially shoring up visitor arrivals to many CARICOM countries.

A number of governments are working to capitalize on sports tourism, from Grenada, with stars like Kirani James, to the Bahamas, as Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace told Caribbean Journal last year.