January 17, 2007
EDWARD HARRIS AT LARGE
WILL VISAS REQUIREMENT AFFECT VISITOR ARRIVALS
FOR CRICKET WORLD CUP 2007?
Dr. Basil Springer writing in the Barbados Advocate Business Monday, dateline 8/1/07 was very critical about the impact of the Visa requirement for visitors from certain countries seeking to attend the ICC CWC 2007 games and he noted: “I recall that one of the major arguments used in defending the large expenditure by Caribbean Governments in mounting ICC CWC 2007 was the “legacy” benefit. There would be significant TV exposure during the 51 matches, following the 16 warm-up matches, and this would provide a major promotional foundation on which to sell the Caribbean in the future and enhance the tourism arrivals to the Caribbean in a sustained manner. Unfortunately, before the matches have begun there has been instant (information age) world-wide negative publicity which has not subsided since the release that “visitors to the Caribbean from a number of countries participating in the World Cup – in particular India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand – will need to obtain a new US$100 visa”.
There are 10 Caricom States that have placed this restriction and 9 will actually host matches. In recent days our hoteliers are complaining about cancellations and the international tour operators are diverting tourists to Scandinavian countries. Visit http://www.caricomimpacs.org to check on countries that are exempted from the Caricom Special Visa Requirement which comes into effect on February 1 and continues to May 15, 2007.
I looked at the matches schedule and discovered that 6 Group matches and 1 Semi-Final will be played in St. Lucia between the period March 13-25 and on April 25, 2007. You can view the schedule of matches at http://www.cricketworldcup.com By now anyone with interest in ICC CWC 2007 would have heard about the amount of matches to be played in St. Lucia, but I am not sure that not everyone has taken a quiet moment to evaluate what would be the likely outcome of the events. We have heard about the world wide visibility and the legacy that will redound to the hosting nations beyond the overall event. We are expected to be on our best behaviour and to deliver services beyond expectation beginning with easy access to the host countries. I am certain that those charged with the responsibilities to ensure the security of all persons attending the matches must have had good reasons for the decisions that they arrived at in this regard, though it is unfortunate that the Visa issue had to be an integral part. The decision has been taken and we will have to live with it.
Looking on the brighter side, we must be proud of the consistent rating that St. Lucia has been receiving at every stage as we continue to prepare for the event. I believe as the opening date approaches, everything will be in place and we would all say “Let the matches begin!” This is our moment to shine and shine we will!
The Real Estate sub sector is very likely to benefit from ICC CWC 2007 exposure as many visitors are likely to fall in love with our Simply Beautiful St. Lucia and take the decision to own a piece of the rock. This is the time to begin to open up the lands beyond the developed areas in the North of the island. With the opening up of new lands, the construction boom could be sustained. It is time that a financial institution come to the assistance of land owners/developers and put some finances into this area of business endeavour. Should such assistance be put in place, my lives could be transformed as there are lots of families with substantial land holdings but cannot find the money to develop the land.
Here is my Internet pick of the week. Everyone is interested to know how long he/she will live. Longevity is a serious issue. Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die. We all hope that we will live healthy lives until the rapture and be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. A system to assist you in finding out how long you are likely to occupy your space on this planet, using information on how you live your life and your parent’s health history can be viewed at http://www.eons.com and interestingly, it is for free. A USA address will be needed to access the report.
Last week I introduced you to AGLOCO. I hope you jumped in. “AGLOCO is building a new form of online community, a platform that will empower its members financially. There are lots of reviews on this outstanding programme that is about to be launched and will forever change the way earnings are made and distributed on the Internet. This is the kind of programme that no one should miss out on. Check it out at http://www.agloco.com/r/BBBM1300
Keep the Faith, God is in Charge and expect a Miracle in 2007!