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Beyond the Boundaries: CPL Cricket Carnival enhances tourism boom

THE Cricket Carnival and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) extravaganza are returning for a second year, and Guyana is once again hyped, pumped up, and ready to host the event.

Kamrul Baksh, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), told Guyana Chronicle that the 2022 CPL Cricket Carnival was a great success in the region, and the first ever held in Guyana to give them bragging rights; the execution was spectacular.

As Guyana moves towards the second year of hosting the event, Kamrul said, “We can safely say that it has cemented itself as one of the most anticipated events on the Caribbean’s calendar because really, who doesn’t love a good cricket match with great vibes…”

In respect to Guyanese warmth and hospitality, Kamrul said, “The GTA will host a series of welcoming sessions at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and Eugene F. Correia International Airport to create a welcoming environment for persons travelling to Guyana during this period.

As a part of the preparations, both airports will be decorated with Cricket Carnival branded decor by a locally based company. Branded Cricket Carnival and Guyana merchandise will be distributed to the incoming passengers, who will be serenaded by local steel pan performances.

The official mascot – Stumpy will also be present to engage with the passengers and take photographs, and “the welcome team will be outfitted with branded apparel for all events.”

He also explained that this year, GTA has committed to leading several promotional activities up to and during the Cricket Carnival period.

Some of the Guyanese troopers of 2022 Cricket Carnival
Guyanese fans at one of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in Providence

According to the director, some of those activities include the development of new tours, which he said are inclusive of new products that will be ready to launch in time for the Cricket Carnival. Added to that, Kamrul explained that in order to create materials that will be promoted on the Cricket Carnival pages, such as Discover Guyana, and Guyana Tourism Authority social media channels, among others, the GTA will work with the local social media influencers.

He believes that their effort in being promoted on various media outlets and the aim of targeting different markets will encourage people to travel to Guyana.

In order to increase the engagement between spectators and the mascot, Kamrul said that the GTA-led Cricket Carnival Committee will also request promotional space at the stadium during CPL matches so that the public will be informed of the tourism opportunities that are available during that period.

He also emphasised the importance of training and capacity building and noted that front-line staff and others have been trained for the Cricket Carnival period. “So far this year, over 1,300 persons have been trained in various areas of hospitality and tourism. Also, the Bed and Breakfast Programme will, once again, be administered by the Guyana Tourism Authority, and I am happy to say that so far, 21 properties have been conditionally approved.”

Finally, Kamrul related that there will be a “Survey and report” analysis that will be conducted at the end of the festivities so that the officials can get feedback from both locals and visitors.

According to him, “a visitor exit survey will be conducted to determine satisfaction with the events hosted, and a report will be prepared to highlight the challenges and recommendations to improve future events.”

Earlier this year, the CEO for Hero CPL, Pete Russell, said: “The reception for the Hero CPL in Guyana last year exceeded anything we have seen before, and we are hugely grateful for the vision of His Excellency Irfaan Ali, who masterminded the Cricket Carnival concept and showed how cricket can deliver significant economic value when planned alongside other entertainment initiatives.”

He continued: “We are so grateful for the amazing support we continue to receive in Guyana, and we are thankful that we have been able to repay the country with these fantastic numbers. We can’t wait to make an even bigger impact in 2023.”

The Guyana leg of the competition will get underway on September 13 at 19:00 with the Guyana Amazon Warriors playing the reigning champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs. The following day, at 19:00, the Warriors will play the St. Lucia Kings, and a doubleheader will take place on September 16, with the Tallawahs taking on the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots at 10:00 am. The Warriors take on the Trinbago Knight Riders at 19:00, and the Tallawahs will play the Kings again on September 17 at 10:00 a.m., followed by the Warriors and Barbados Royals, who will square off at 19:00 a.m.

The National Stadium in Providence will serve as the site for all games.

Prices for the Grass Mound, Orange Stand, Red Stand, and Green Stand are G$2,500, G$3,500, G$5,500, and G$6,000, respectively.