|Sports tourism ‘on track’ to reach $13M revenue goal|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Dec 28, 2012
Sports tourism in The Bahamas is growing at a strong and steady pace according to Tyrone Sawyer, director of sports tourism development for the Ministry of Tourism, who revealed that the $13 million revenue benchmark is expected to be reached and exceeded for the fiscal year.
Sawyer told Guardian Business the success being achieved from an exposure and monetary standpoint is a testament to the level of commitment in the ministry to promote The Bahamas as a sports destination.
“We are very pleased with what we have accomplished and we are starting to get more traction in terms of attracting the high level sports events,” Sawyer said. “It’s been a successful year for us, we hit our stride and the growth and potential that lies ahead in 2013 is very encouraging.”
Sawyer mentioned that the $13 million goal was set for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, and the tourism sub-sector is “well on track” to reach that figure before the end of the period. Additionally, sports tourism has accounted for 20,000 visitors for the year, and various businesses have benefitted from the additional tourist traffic.
Some of the major sports tourism events this year included the 2012 Atlantis Crown Invitational, which is considered the largest gymnastics event in the Caribbean, and the Battle 4 Atlantis, a men’s college basketball tournament. Sawyer said preparations are being made for Marathon Bahamas 2013, which he revealed has registered an uptick in bookings within the range of 35-40 percent.
Sawyer said a number of “major” sports events will be introduced to the country in 2013.
“We’re going to set a claim as a regional power in terms of sports tourism just by the nature of events we tend to attract, like the Battle 4 Atlantis and the 2012 Atlantis Crown Invitational. We not only want to be a big player in the region, but we want to make a real dent in the industry on a global level too and I firmly believe we can do that.”