In an article from Rob Jones, Editor of Canadian Cyclist, one of four journalist who came over for the publicity weekend a week ago Jones wrote:
“A few weeks ago we received a query: Might we be interested coming to Barbados for a few days, for a ‘test run’ of the Barbados Sportive route? Barbados Tourism and the Divi Southwinds Resort – one of the hotel partners – would take care of the travel and accommodation; all we had to do was make the time and provide feedback on the proposed project.
Hmmm … could I take four days away from the ice and snow we were currently suffering through to ride my bike in 30 Celcius-plus temperatures? Purely to help the ride organiSer, of course … the main decision was whether SPF 30 sunscreen would be strong enough.”
I have been saying for a long time that we have to look towards new and creative ideas in order to sustain our tourism efforts. I am of the firm opinion that this cycling event will prove my point.
October is considered to be one of the months of the year when we could do with some extra arrivals. The second thing that I have been saying in relation to our Sports Tourism product is it is a real full-time job.
Events of this nature take time and nurturing in order to bring them to reality. It has been over six months that I have been working with organiser Phil Chudley on trying to make this event a reality. I am sure that Phil’s efforts started a long time before I became involved.
An event like this has the potential to provide benefits to the entire tourism product of Barbados. We have already begun to receive positive press from the event long in advance of the schedule date. When the participants arrive on island in October they are going to need accommodation and everything else that we have to offer.
Chances are that most of the participants will be here for at least a week. Many of these cyclist would never have been introduced to Barbados without this event and there is every possibility that they could return to the island for holiday.
Sports Tourism can definitely play a major role of helping Barbados to become a year-round destination.
* Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.