Jamaica is set to host the first leg of the 2010 Kite Boarding World Cup Series at Long Bay Beach, Portland, March 25 to April 3.
The 10-day tournament is expected to attract up to 1,000 visitors to see the over 50 competitors from Brazil, Wales, Norway, Spain, Poland, Australia, France, Denmark, the USA, Mexico, Italy and Jamaica.
Speaking at the launch at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (February 24), Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, noted that sports tourism, though new to Jamaica, was loaded with potential.
“It does offer an opportunity for us to pull a new type of visitor into the country. Those that will not only deal with bread and breakfast, but also have the potential and the level of spend to be able to move into the higher realms of luxury tourism,” he said.
Member of Parliament for East Portland, Dr. Donald Rodd, said the people of the parish were enthused about the event.
“Portland is pleased to welcome the hosting of the first kite boarding festival to be held in our tropical paradise, Jamaica. Hoteliers, owners of villas and guest houses, transportation and all other related interests look forward to not only the 10-day tournament festival, but also recognize the huge international exposure,” he said.
The event is being sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and JamRock Tours, among others. It is expected to attract an array of international media, including Sky Sports, Nova Sports, Sports TV, Fox Television and Sailing Channel.