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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn has re-emphasised that Jamaica would receive favourable economic benefits and gain global exposure when it hosts the opening ceremony and a number of matches for ICC Cricket World Cup next year.
According to Senator Franklyn, more than 1,000 international media representatives were expected to make the Caribbean their temporary bases during March and April 2007. As a result, he said Jamaica and the wider region would be “on display”, as the foreign press would pursue stories about the region for their overseas audiences.
His comments came during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday, (Feb. 10).
In addition to the influx of media, he told the Senate, an additional 10, 000 to 15, 000 visitors were expected in the island over the two-month period that the tournament would run.
Citing statistics that reveal that the average cricketing spectator spends an average of J$13, 000 (US$200) per day on accommodation, travel, food, entertainment and souvenirs, Senator Franklyn said the economic spin off from the thousands of visitors, was therefore of great significance. He rationalised that the flood of visitors to the country should create a ripe opportunity for persons who might be interested in operating bed and breakfast programmes from their homes.
“I am informed that many cricket fans will not necessarily want to stay in hotels but would rather experience the culture and way of life of the host country,” the Senator said.
To this end, he said persons who had suitable and appropriate facilities at their home to accommodate visitors, could provide accommodation.
“If properly handled, this can perhaps emerge into a new market for our tourism industry,” the State Minister noted, adding that the Industry and Tourism Ministry and its agency, the Tourism Development Company (TPDCo), was about to embark on a programme of registering and licensing homes for a home-stay programme.
Individuals who have extra rooms are being encouraged to contact the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, TPDCo or the local organising committee.
Opportunities also exist, he added, for caterers, owners and operators of passenger and baggage vehicles to transport teams, officials, media personnel as well as sponsors associated with the tournament.
Senator Franklyn informed that licensing tenders were being advertised on a weekly basis for such categories of services. “These areas are ready-made for the small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs,” he stated.