Sports tourism is vital

Last year we hosted the IDTA Regional Dance Classic here in Barbados and this year, this same Latin and Ballroom competition is being staged in Trinidad and Tobago. As the Trinidadians make their last minute preparations for hosting the event, the Barbadian dancers are also making their final preparations to make their presence felt in a big way. It is my understanding that well over 100 Barbadians will make it to the twin island republic to take on the rest of the Caribbean.

Taking part in the competition and having a bit of fun and relaxation is just one part of the importance of making this trip. Like all other Sports tourism ventures, it is critically important that our local athletes participate when the event is hosted here at home and equally important that they do the same when the event is hosted abroad for a number of good reasons.

The first good reason is that of helping to sustain our airline flight capacity. Without this competition taking place over the next weekend, a big void would have been created for both Caribbean Airlines and LIAT. This would have also affected those passengers desirous of coming into Barbados for other business. Airlines tend to examine both inbound and outbound traffic to determine the viability of the schedule and that is what makes outbound traffic so important to our airlift capacity.

The second good reason why our participation is so vital at the overseas meets is, usually events are normally awarded to countries that participate in them. When our Barbadians participate with so much enthusiasm, it places Barbados in a very good position to bid for, and succeed in being recognised for future events. I am hoping that through our engagement we can have this competition held here again next year.

Of course, there are other countries seeking to do the same thing as we are. In the end, it comes down to a few critical factors. Airlift capacity and ease of access; price and the housing capability will also play an important role. Service delivery and security are also key components, to the deciding process. Desire also plays a vital role in how things are decided.

With all of the above-mentioned keys, to make a successful bid, we can proudly state that dance competitions in Barbados are well-organised and often used as the model to follow throughout the rest of the Caribbean. So, as the teams get ready for the contest, I take this opportunity to wish them all the best and hoping that we make a successful bid to host the next competition right here in Barbados in 2013.

*Tourism is our business, let us play our part

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