Organizers of Marathon Bahamas paid a courtesy call on Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, November 25. Pictured from left are Shelly Wilson, Deputy Operation Manager, Sunshine Insurance; Janet Johnson, Director of Communications, Ministry of Tourism (MOT); Tyrone Sawyer, Director, Sports Tourism MOT; Minister Vanderpool-Wallace; Franklyn R Wilson, Chairman, Marathon Bahamas; and Veronica Duncanson, Public Relations Consultant, Sunshine Holdings.
Nassau, Bahamas – Organizers of Marathon Bahamas paid a courtesy call on Minister of Tourism, the Hon Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, November 25.
The team, led by Chairman of Marathon Bahamas, Franklyn R Wilson, came to officially present the idea to the Minister with a view to acquiring a partnership with the Ministry.
Marathon Bahamas is scheduled for Sunday February 14th, 2010. It is the first marathon of its kind in The Bahamas and will cover 26.2 miles.
Calling ventures like this the type that the government encourages, Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said that this is a step in the positive direction.
He added that it was an opportunity that the Ministry of Tourism had also considered but decided to abandon the idea to support Marathon Bahamas.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Mr Vanderpool-Wallace. “Sports tourism is not about standing around and being photographed with athletics but it is engaging in the kinds of activities that eventually lead to foreign exchange, visitor arrivals and more employment.”
Referring to the success of the ‘Blue Water Run’ that was held in The Bahamas, the Minister said these types of events could greatly benefit the country.
“We believe that the area of sports tourism, we are enormously underserved so the opportunity to begin to do this and for you to become the exemplar of something that we think that the process under which these things are developed and operated, we’d like to thank you for it.”
Mr Wilson said that if marketed properly, Marathon Bahamas can prove to have a positive impact on the Bahamian economy as research has shown that marathons tend to attract high-income individuals.
Confirmation has already been received from participants from the US, Canada and Copenhagen. Too, the countries’ leading hoteliers “have bought into the idea by action and by words,” said Mr Wilson.
“Because of the huge potential, we thought it important to engage the Ministry of Tourism,” he added.
Marathon Bahamas is expected to receive formal certification by the International Associations Athletics Federations and the Associations of Marathons.