KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica expects the electrifying Olympic wins of the world’s fastest sprinter Usain Bolt will enhance its image and help in wooing more foreign tourists to the picturesque Caribbean country.
“The impact of Bolt’s performance at the London Olympics will have an effect on the island for many years and will help us to attract more tourists,” Jamaican Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill said.
McNeill said the interest in Jamaica, known for its serene butterscotch beaches with some of the best seafood eateries in the world, has reached its zenith since Bolt successfully defended in London his titles obtained in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
25-year old Bolt, who won Gold in 100m, 200m and 100x4m relay in the London Olympics, has not been far from the national tourism diffusion in Jamaica since he recorded three promotion videos in 2010.
He anchored three promotional videos for the tourist board in 2010, and several recent travel stories have focused on Jamaica’s northern parish of Trelawny, the area where the “Lightning” Bolt sprinter grew up.
Almost 1,922,000 foreign tourists visited the island nation in 2010, according to a World Bank data.
Jamaican Sports Minister Natalie Neita-Headley advocated for diversifying the sports disciplines in which the nation should compete in future international competitions.
Receiving the athletes who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games, Neita-Headley said that though track and field has given some historical names, Jamaica has the potential to excel in other sports, Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The government, through the Foundation for the Development of Sport, may sponsor the number of disciplines.
Jamaica finished in the 17th place in the medallist list by countries in the 2012 Olympic Games with four gold, four silver and 4 bronze, for a total of 12.