A Boost To Jamaica’s Sports Tourism: Serena And Venus Williams Tour

Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture has taken another step in its thrust to position Jamaica at the helm of the lucrative global Sports Tourism Industry.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture, the Honourable Aloun Assamba, has said that the imminent visit of the Williams Sisters, Venus and Serena, who have dominated world professional Lawn Tennis, will provide an additional boost to Jamaica’s prospects as we move to fulfill our mandate “to further our position as a top player in sports tourism globally.”

“There is certainly a lot of excitement surrounding the sisters right now, especially as Serena comes to us after winning the Australian open. It goes to show that Jamaica continues to be a destination of choice for discerning travellers who want to come to Jamaica for rest, relaxation and business” the Minister stated.

Mrs. Assamba reiterated the fact that Jamaica is well known as a “sprint factory” making reference to world famous Jamaican athletes such as Sherone Simpson and Asafa Powell both of who have ascended to the top echelons of sports renown.

The visit of the Williams Sisters comes against the backdrop of current plans in the Ministry to diversify the Tourism market base.

The Tourism Master Plan for Sustainable Development states that “Europe will be a major geographical area of focus. In that market and elsewhere, the plan is to pay special attention to visiting friends and relatives, families, couples, mature persons and those interested in nature tourism, adventure and sports.”

Earlier this week Minister Assamba announced the selection of a new marketing company for Ireland and Northern Europe. “A strategic step as we continue to position ourselves as a Golfing destination”.

The Tourism, Entertainment and Culture Minister said “it definitely works in our favour that the Williams sisters are visiting at this time when we have just surpassed the three millionth visitor mark for one year and at a time when Jamaica has attracted more investment, more positive reviews and more industry awards than any other destination in the region.

“These are not random occurrences but are the result of successful policy implementation and a robust marketing and promotion strategy. The time has now come for us to pull out all the stops and move to dominate the world in two of our strongest areas – sports and tourism.”

Minister Assamba made these remarks in the context of Jamaica’s participation in hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup that is less than 35 days away.

“It is prime time” she said “to show the world that we can seamlessly host world class events effectively.”

With respect to the infrastructure to support Jamaica’s thrust to popularize sports tourism, the Tourism Minister explained that the completion of the stadia at Greenfield, Trelawny and Sabina Park, Kingston in addition to the National Stadium, the National Arena and the Indoor Sports Centre positions Jamaica way ahead of the other Caribbean destinations.

The Williams Sisters will arrive in Jamaica on Monday February 5, and will be welcomed by Minister Assamba in a VIP reception at the Norman Manley International Airport.

The Jamaica Pegasus will be their first stop for a cocktail reception where they will launch the Williams Sister’s Tennis Clinic for Inner-city youth, followed by a paid event at the Quad Night Club.

On Tuesday February 6, Venus and Serena will walk along Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston with the beneficiaries of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s Inner-city Youth programme followed by tennis lessons with the children at the Liguanea Club.

Venus and Serena will depart from Jamaica on Wednesday February 7th from the Sangster International Airport after similar engagements in the island’s second city.