Montego Bay, St. James (JIS) – Tourism interests in western Jamaica are being urged to take advantage of events like the annual MoBay City Run, to tap into the lucrative global health and wellness market.
General Manager of RIU Reggae and RIU Palace Hotels in Montego Bay, Frank Sondern, told JIS News that his hotel had more than 500 participants in this year’s run on May 7, and the event could easily be marketed to tour operators overseas as a popular health and wellness product.
“Many of our guests wanted to sign up at the last minute. Unfortunately, the organisers had to enforce the cut-off point rule,” he said.
Mr. Sondern argued that with the MoBay City Run proving, once again, that it has a lot of staying power, “there is no reason why many of the other hotels in western Jamaica will not get involved in a big way”.
“This is a bona fide event, and the possibilities are huge. Just look at the turnout… just look at the many visitors in attendance,” he added.
Delano Seiveright, a Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, said the Ministry has been taking notice of the “extraordinary” progress being made by the MoBay City Run and suggested that it could be an integral part of the Ministry’s health and wellness marketing campaign.
“Of course we would have to take a look at anything that can positively impact our tourism sector, which clearly the MoBay City Run has been doing,” Mr. Seiveright told JIS News.
“While it was designed as a charity to raise funds for students attending tertiary institutions in western Jamaica, it has now clearly evolved where it has created other possibilities that we all can capitalise on. I must join others in congratulating the organisers for a job well done,” he added.
The MoBay City Run is an annual charity event that provides scholarships for needy tertiary students across western Jamaica. Also, for the first time in its four-year history, it had a component for early-childhood education, where some $500,000 was committed, prior to the event, to assist a number of early-childhood schools.
In the meantime, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President, Omar Robinson, said he, too, is impressed with how the event has captured the imagination of a wide cross section of western Jamaica, adding that his organisation will continue to give the event its full support.
“I was particularly pleased to hear that $500,000 was committed to the early childhood sector here in western Jamaica,” he noted.
“This event will continue to grow, and we here in the tourism sector have a unique opportunity in making it a part of our marketing strategy. Persons go all over the world to participate in these kinds of events,” Mr. Robinson said.
Photo Copyright Mckoy’s News (Alan Lewin)