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Tourism officials seek to capitalize on success of Miami Heat camp

  • Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra (left) receives a painting from Bahamian artist Jamaal Rolle yesterday. The life-like painting includes (from left) Miami Heat President Pat Riley, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and Spoelstra. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 05, 2013

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The Ministry of Tourism is working to build on the success achieved hosting the Miami Heat training camp this week, with officials now going after other major sports teams, Director of Sports in the Ministry of Tourism Greg Rolle said.

Rolle, who was integral in bringing the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship team to Bahamian shores, sent an open invitation to other teams that want to take advantage of what the country has to offer.

"The Ministry of Tourism is giving an invitation to anyone who wants to bring their event to The Bahamas," he said.

Rolle said based on the feedback from social websites, the publicity that The Bahamas has received as a result of hosting the training camp has been "fantastic".

"The Heat has a reach, which takes The Bahamas global,” he said.

"…We want Miami Heat to drive their fan base to this destination."

Rolle added: "The Ministry of Tourism spends $25 million (annually) on advertisements or even more. So now the Ministry of Tourism doesn't have to spend the money as such.

“We will use this resume and let the Miami Heat and others tell our story. And so, we are doing the same thing; we are exposing The Bahamas to the world at zero cost. This is why this is so incredible."

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe confirmed last week that the ministry was investing approximately $110,000 as part of its marketing strategy for the event.

Rolle said the Ministry of Tourism wants to bring in both small and big sports teams. "The Bahamas can multi-task,” he said. “Here it is we have two courts side by side in a grand ballroom (at Atlantis).

“It's not an arena. It just shows the versatility that The Bahamas has. If we work as a team we can make magic basically.”

The Atlantis Resort constructed two courts for the three-day event.

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