The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) has jumped on board to provide support for the Jamaica International Invitational Track Meet (JIIM). The sponsorship which is valued at 1.3 million dollars includes accommodation for the visiting athletes, signage at the event and craft items which will replace the traditional medals.
During his presentation at the Press Launch for JIIM, held today at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston, Executive Director, TPDCo, Dr. Andrew Spencer underscored the importance of diversification in the tourism product, which can be achieved through sporting events. Events such as JIIM are known to attract athletes, agents and fans from all over the world, giving visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and its offerings.
“We are deliberate about this partnership and we foresee a long term relationship with the sporting fraternity, as we recognize the extent to which sports can provide benefits for the tourism space. We are also cognizant of the fact that sporting events open avenues of other aspects of our culture, such as our food and music. However, what is most impactful is the opportunity that our local artisans will get to showcase their products, and for us to continue building the craft industry.” He said.
As the agency with responsibility for developing Jamaica’s tourism product, TPDCo cited that the partnership with JIIM will provide an opportunity to introduce the versatility of Jamaica’s tourism product through sports tourism. This type of tourism forms one of the networks of the 5 pillars of growth, a strategy of the Ministry of Tourism to attract 5 million visitors and earn 5 billion US dollars in 5 years.
The organization has also noted that sports tourism acts as a vehicle for economic growth and job creation, by developing this aspect of tourism which will benefit the local economy and by extension other sectors of the country such as education and health. The development of this tourism network will therefore add to existing programmes carried out by TPDCo such as its community tourism and training programmes.
Additionally, the incorporation of craft items, which will be provided by TPDCo, is intended to give visitors and athletes of the event a first-hand experience with authentic craft items. It is envisioned that the move will boost the craft industry and exposure and earnings for local artisans.
The one day meet is scheduled for Saturday May 19, 2018 and will be staged at the National Stadium in Kingston.