Representing the region
This week I want to focus on the recent success of the West Indies Cricket Team.
One might be tempted to ask, what does the West Indies success have to do with tourism? My response to this question is simple, “everything”. For as long as we had the tourism industry across the Caribbean, cricket has been one of the mediums through the region to bring about top-of-mind awareness. Through history, our cricketing greats have been the centre of discussion by all cricketing commentators, the three W’s, Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith, Holding, Roberts, Marshall and Garner, Sir Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd. To the present day, we as a people have always been able to command centre stage through our cricketing performance.
Last Sunday was no exception, with 35,000 watching the game live and millions watching on television, persons were once again reminded of the Caribbean region. The success of the team is one thing but for me the way in which the various members of the team represented themselves was remarkable. When the Captain Darren Sammy spoke of the pride, he believed that every West Indian must have felt as a result of their winning the World T20 competition. He was inadvertently reminding the world that Caribbean people believe that we can compete with the rest of the world. When the various players during their interviews mentioned the team spirit and collaboration between each other, which they attributed to part of the success, to me that was a reminder to the world that the Caribbean is a peaceful region where visitors can feel safe.
The dancing, which took place on the field of play during and after the games, was a clear reflection of the spirit, culture and heritage of the true Caribbean and the players did it well.
This win for the West Indies cricket team once again, places the Caribbean at the centre of discussions all around the world. At a time when advertising dollars are at a premium, the Caribbean definitely needed this boost. At a time when violence dominates the media in other parts of the world, we needed to remind the world of the peacefulness of the Caribbean region.
In the words of the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson in response to a congratulatory message I sent him, he said, “Thank you to the management and staff of Divi for your message of support for the team. We are happy to have made the region proud.” Even this response, from the team coach to me demonstrates the type of representation we have out there on the world scene through our cricketers.
Once again, to the entire West Indies Team, CONGRATULATIONS, we are extremely proud of you. *Tourism is our business, let us play our part.