GIS: Grenada will reap tremendous economic benefits from its staging of the inaugural Invitational on the weekend.
That’s according to Government Minister Oliver Joseph.
Government has given its full backing to the event, which will attract 150 international athletes, by providing concessions to athletes for their equipment, and waiving work permit fees, among others
Joseph, the Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Trade and Labour says with thousands coming to Grenada, it will mean greater international exposure for the country.
“It is my understanding that for the period of the games, hotel occupancy has moved to 100 percent, because there are some people who are looking, right now, for hotel rooms and cannot get. So, when you look at the hotel occupancy, and the tax that they have to pay- and government has to benefit from the VAT- when you do the whole analysis, it is a tremendous benefit to the country. International exposure, that’s the greatest thing,” Minister Joseph said.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary with Responsibility for Youth & Religious Affairs Senator Pamela Moses says government is all about promoting Grenada through sports, and is optimistic about the benefits that will accrue with the games being seen in more than 80 million homes worldwide.
Government is partnering with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) to further promote the country during the event.
“As part of our budgetary support, the Grenada Tourism Authority will be sponsoring ads, together with the Grenada Ports Authority, to ensure that out of those 89 million homes, a couple million come to Grenada. It means whatever we invest now, whatever support we give to the Grenada Invitational, we can assure you we’re going to make it back a hundred fold,” Senator Moses said.
Director of the Grenada Invitational Kerlon Peters says government involvement is critical to the success of the games.
“So far, to announce that we have 150 elite athletes, and the sponsorship that’s on board, I think that we are reaching a target towards a successful meet. Games like that cannot happen without the involvement of the government, through the Ministry of Sports with police involvement”.
Some of the biggest names in athletics like LaShawn Merritt, Kirani James, Veronica Campbell Browne and Asafa Powell are participating in the weekend invitational.