ULP candidate advocates for sports tourism
Sports is the biggest global industry, and Small Island Developing States need to look at more attractive incentives which would see an upward movement in sports tourism.
And, sports administrators at both the local and national level, need to be innovative in their thinking, be more proactive in their programme planning, and must utilise the most radical thinkers in all departments.
That is the view of accountant Dominic Sutherland.
The unsuccessful ULP candidate in the 2020 general elections also feels that there must be greater use of finances with improved accountability if potential sponsors, who in reality are investors in the sporting disciplines, are to have greater confidence in the local administrators.
“Sports is all about competitiveness. We must produce the kind of competition locally that will attract serious international attention to our shores. We need to develop our local talent pool to create regional and international champions”, Sutherland said in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT.
“I suggest that we relook at our sporting agenda and create a nursery for developing our young athletes. Our education system must cater for the development of the student athlete. Our young athletes must start dominating at the Inter-school Games, CARIFTA and Pan American Games,” Sutherland stressed.
“This same goes for all… sporting disciplines; football, netball, cricket, swimming, just to name a few. Develop our talent, we will develop our sports industry and hence give significant life to sports tourism.”
He pointed to the link with available hotel rooms which play “ a dual role in the sports-tourism sector, and in encouraging an increase in international flights”.
Sutherland added that the government “should be looking at existing hoteliers with the potential to deepen their investments,” focussing on the potential for expansion.
“Therefore, if government has lands near to existing hoteliers, offering them the ability to expand in this way is useful,” he suggested.
“A tax holiday based on the combined room stock can be looked at. Special low interest development loans can be pursued also”.
He also referred to the link between the sports tourism industry and a reliable food supply noting that, “Since we can only consume so much of what is grown locally and our land size is limited, we need to concentrate on what we can do best and competitively in our production process. We must maximize our returns per square foot of available land.”