Guyana needs sports tourism policy
By Michael DaSilva
May 10, 2000
Guyana-born cricket commentator, Joseph `Reds' Perreira, has called on local sports administrators and government officials to implement a sports and tourism policy linked between the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Sports and the various sports associations.
Sharing his ideas at a sports and tourism discussion organised by the National Sports Commission at the Thomas Lands YMCA on Monday evening, Perreira said a sports and tourism policy would have national spin-offs which will bring revenue into Guyana.
"You can only find a sports and tourism policy in Barbados and to a certain extent in Jamaica" Perreira said and questioned "why not in the rest of the Caribbean?".
Minister of Trade and Tourism, Geoffrey DaSilva, who was present at said his Ministry is keen to work with the Sports ministry and national associations to formulate a sports and tourism policy.
Minister DaSilva declared that Guyana is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and said sports associations and the Ministry of Tourism must establish a genuine partnership with the government and the private sector and share their knowledge.
Perreira lamented the fact that Guyana has eco-tourism attractions which along with well organised competitions can bring in revenue for the country.
The former National sports adviser said netball and cricket immediately can make a start to earn tourism dollars for Guyana. He said 50 netball teams from England visit Barbados each year and mentioned that a cricket competition like the Sir Garfield Sobers tournament can also attract lots of teams.
Perreira advised that the Guyana marathon has the potential to bring people to Guyana, but the first thing he would do is change its name from Go Guyana Run, "that's too difficult a name to market, nobody understands the name" Perreira said.
Perreira added that Guyana can also stage a Caribbean Golden Glove Boxing Championships for the entire Caribbean.
He said beach volleyball is also a big tourism related sport which only needs the establishment of an attractive site here to stage competitions.
"The Caribbean is crying out for a women's 10K which does not happen anywhere else and with the right kind of sponsorship you can get a `Golden Mile' which has a spectator value" Perreira pointed out.
He also said a club basketball championships will be ideal because it is the fastest growing sport in the Region and no such competitions exist presently. Perreira also pointed out that it is economical to stage sports in Guyana compared to other countries.
The discussion involved Chairman of the NSC Conrad Plummer, director Neil Kumar, GOA officials and others from sports associations.