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New Sporting Facilities Expanding Economic Possibilities for Sports Tourism

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - St. Lucia’s two world class sporting facilities, the Beausejour Cricket Ground (BCG), in the North, and the Vieux Fort Stadium in the south, have launched the country onto the international sports scene. But many factors requiring serious deliberation and prudence now have to be considered. Among these are exploiting the sports-tourism potential of the two multi-million dollar facilities, the development of commercial sports and the need to devise ways to make the stadia viable and sustainable.

Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance Louis Lewis, suggests that a linkage between the sports and tourism is a strategy that can bring economic advantages to the country.

“What the stadia allow us to do is to be competitive on a global scale, as are most of our other tourism products. With the Beausejour ground for cricket, we can attract world class games. The world class games allow us to penetrate deeper into some markets that we traditionally benefit from. With the national stadium down in Vieux-Fort it gives us a wider array; we can get into football activities, and we can get into track and field, which are areas which we have not exploited, at least not to the maximum capacity,” Lewis said.

Moreover, these linkages are very likely to translate into economic benefits for ordinary persons, Louis added.

The Beasejour Cricket Ground was home recently to a test match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

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