Hotels Reaping Substantial Benefits from CWC 2007 – Senator Franklyn

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn has said that the tourism sector is benefiting tremendously from the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007, as thousands of visitors are in the island for what is billed as the third largest spectacle in the world.
“Every room on the north coast is booked. Yes, persons have spoken to me and told me that for the last three weeks they have been trying to get rooms on the North coast and they having a difficulty in getting rooms because they are all booked,” he disclosed at the recent launch of the Jamaica Cricket Legacy programme at Eden Gardens in Kingston.
“For all those who were in doubt as to whether we would have been able to pull the number of visitors to Jamaica, and also those who were in doubt as to whether they would have been able to benefit from this business opportunity, they are all now benefiting,” he stated.
This comes as positive news in light of the concerns raised by hoteliers, about the implementation of the CARICOM visa, noting that it would result in losses through cancelled bookings.
Under the new visa regime, persons are allowed free movement within the region, which commenced operating as a single domestic space on February 1 as part of preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.
With the exception of the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Canada, in addition to all member states of the Caribbean Community, except Haiti, all other countries will require a visa for entry during the period February 1 to May 15.
It is estimated that some 13,000 to 15,000 visitors will be in the island for the ICC CWC 2007. “The challenge is to ensure that we continue to have these rooms filled all year round,” he said.
The focus on niche marketing will be paramount and as such the focus has included the Irish and Asian markets.
“As a result of delegations visiting abroad promoting CWC 2007 in the Asian market particularly India, a heavy contingent from India is due in Jamaica and they will be occupying many of the seats for the semifinals on April 24. These are people who want to see and enjoy their cricket,” he said.
In terms of various promotions via documentaries featuring countries of the Caribbean, the Minister said this was priceless. “I do not believe that the Jamaica Tourist Board at one shot could have been able to pay for this kind of promotion and advertisement and that is part of the legacy of hosting the event,” he pointed out.
“The cost that has been put on the promotions that Jamaica will get out of hosting of this event is some US$100 million, so if you were to do the calculation it would run into $6.7 billion, so all those persons expressing concern about expenditure from promotional rights alone and benefits alone, we are almost making our returns,” he highlighted.
There was absolutely no way, he added, that the Jamaican government could have in any one year, provided that budget for any kind of promotion.

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