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The Tourism Authority is planning to use the 2024 ICC World Cup Cricket trophy’s two-day tour of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to showcase the country’s tourism product.

Avanell DaSIlva, acting chief executive officer of the SVG Tourism Authority, said the agency expects thousands of people to visit the country in June for the Cricket World Cup and for Vincymas from late June to early July.

“So we are trying to see how we can definitely mesh the synergies and to strategically try to do it in an innovative manner,” she told a Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) press conference on Monday.

She said the tourism authority recognises “sports is a part of our culture. 

“And we want to do that merge and merge it very well. So it’s a great opportunity to be a part of Vincymas launched this year.”

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DaSilva said the ICC trophy tour is”a great stage for us to highlight our destination, to highlight our culture”, adding that the trophy will be in the country from May 15 to 17.

“And, we want to encourage the entire Vincentian population to come out and be a part of the activations that we’re going to be having across the destination,” DaSilva said.

She noted that some other host countries of World Cup Cricket matches have already had their trophy tours. 

“And they, of course, try to, I guess, highlight their destination as best as possible,” she said, adding that SVG has an opportunity to make its trophy tour “the best one across the region. 

“And that’s our aim. So we are happy that we are able again to tag ourselves to Vincymas to make a presence, to set a stage for both Vincymas and also for the tournament that is coming.”

DaSilva said the trophy will arrive in SVG at the Argyle International Airport on May 15, where there will be a welcome ceremony, from about 1 to 2:30 p.m.

We invite, again, the media to be there, we invite Vincentians, John Public to be there — students, anybody who wants to be there to help us greet the trophy and to make it as large as possible, a fan-engagement opportunity,” DaSilva said. 

When the trophy leaves the airport, it will travel to Upper Bay Street, where there will be an upstreet party. 

The upper Bay St area was chosen “strategically” to give people travelling to Bequia on ferries between 3:30 and 6 p.m. “to really get an opportunity to interact with the trophy, to be a part of all of the activations”.

Then on May 16, the trophy will go to the Blackpoint Recreational Park sometime around 7:30 a.m.

“… we are planning a fantastic photo iconic shot of the trophy on our black sand beaches,” DaSilva said.

“We want to, of course, encourage the students — I know there’s the Sandy Bay Secondary School that is right across from that. And again, the public to be a part of that activation. We should be there for just about two hours.”

Then the trophy would move to Kingstown and North Central Windward “for those activations also”.

On May 17, the final day that the trophy will be in SVG, it will be taken to Bequia. 

We do recognise the importance both from the Tourism Authority standpoint of the Grenadines to our destination and there is no way we could not have tried to include one of our Grenadine islands in this activation.”

Avanell DaSIlva
Avanell DaSIlva, acting chief executive officer of the SVG Tourism Authority, speaking at th press conference in Kingstown on Monday, April 29, 2024.

DaSilva said the trophy will be at the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth.

And, again, this is to give persons living on Bequia the opportunity to interact, to engage,” Da Silva said.

And let me just say this, you’re not able to touch the trophy. So I don’t want anybody to think that you’re going to be able to touch the trophy and hug it up or anything like that.

None of that is allowed. It will be on display, you will be able to stand alongside it, take a picture, whether it’s a selfie, whether it’s a group picture. And that’s pretty much it.”

Speaking at the same press conference, Michael Findlay, head of the local organising committee, said security will be “extremely high” at the Cricket World Cup, adding that not touching the trophy is “normal with international events.

“When you have the FIFA World Cup, you make tours, but you’ll never get to touch the trophy,” said Findlay, a former West Indies cricketer.

“We may find that to be a little discomforting because you look at it and you say, ‘Well, it’s a trophy, what happens if somebody wants to touch it? 

“Well, I’ll give you a story.  FIFA World Cup was stolen some time ago, a few years ago. And that’s why they put all these things in place,” Findlay said.

DaSilva said that when the trophy returns to Kingstown from Bequia, it will join the “Vincymas launch DNA parade” around Kingstown with the Vincymas team.

So it’s quite an exciting time. We’re really looking forward to it. And, like I said, we really want to show the region what St. Vincent and Grenadines can do, what we have to offer, how we can best highlight our destination for this trophy tour. 

“So even persons, influencers, anybody, you can get in contact with us, let’s see how we can make it large, and make it a great one for the destination.”

DaSilva spoke of the importance of cricket and carnival to Vincentians.

“And we want to see how best we can merge the two. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to really highlight … our destination, St. Vincent and Grenadines, from a standpoint and put us on the world stage.”

She said a lot of work has gone into the trophy tour over the past months “just get things in place. 

So you may not have heard a lot, you may not have seen a lot but there are so many things in terms of approvals, so many things in terms of plan, and pretty much everything has to be approved. So we are at this stage here where now we can actually start putting out and we’re getting our shoulders to the wheel to get the destination out there,” DaSilva said.  

“The world is looking at us pretty much the rest of the region is looking at us. So let’s try to make it a big one. So we are tagging our engagement with CDC as Runs and Rhythm. 

Because that’s what we are selling. That’s what we are preparing for: it’s runs for cricket and rhythms for Carnival. So let’s make it a big one for St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the acting tourism authority chief told the media.