GFF, THAG sign MoU to promote Sport Tourism
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) on Thursday morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work closer in the promotion of Sport Tourism through football.
Both sides view this new venture as significant, highlighting Sport Tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism globally.
The signing of the MoU was done by President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, and head of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar, at Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston. The signing was witnessed by Keeran Williams of the Football Federation and Treina Butts of the Tourism body.
The objectives of the alliance are to (1) Promotion and Marketing by increasing visibility of the destination and football to international partners; (2) Research and Information Sharing by improving readiness and promotional efforts of sports tourism events; (3) Product Development by developing initiatives that promote events such as Beach Football and Futsal competitions at locations across the country; and (4) Sustainability of Ventures by devising strategies that support the sustainability of the organisations through the hosting of activities.
Comments by key stakeholders
Treina Butts- Executive Director, THAG: “Sport Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism and more and more tourists are interested in sport activities during their trips whether sport was the main purpose of their visit. Sport Tourism of various kinds and sizes attracts tourists as participants and spectators to destinations worldwide, and destinations do their best to add local flavour to those activities and distinguish themselves and provide authentic local experiences. Mega sports events such as the Olympics and World Cups can be catalysts for tourism development if successfully leveraged in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and other economic and social benefits.”
Mitra Ramkumar- President, THAG: “I want to say why we should use this (Sport Tourism) and Guyana as a destination should use this as a strategy, and why it needs to be forward thinking. If you were to look at the upcoming (Football) World Cup that’s going to be happening in Qatar in 2022; this was as a result of a deliberate strategy from Qatar. It is really aimed at having a surge in visitor arrival to that country. 2026 has already been awarded, so you can see the forward thinking and planning that has to go behind Sport Tourism and really reaping the benefits of Sport Tourism. We need to put Sport Tourism as a strategy to really build our infrastructure and elevate the livelihood of our people.”
Wayne Forde- President, GFF: “We have to remind ourselves often that football is an entertainment product, and like any product marketing of that product is critical. The partnership that we’re building with the Tourism Authority would see the Tourism Authority bringing its weight, its platform, its resources, its network and every other tool it has to its disposal to leverage, promote and advertise the tournaments and competitions and international events of the Federation. One of the first such activities that we would engage in the spirit of the MoU would be the Super 16 tournament that would be launched in a matter of days.”