January 19, 2007
Accommodation not a major problem

The projected 4100 visitors expected here for the four warm up matches ahead of Cricket World Cup will be accommodated despite the insufficiency of hotel rooms available on the mainland.

A bed and breakfast programme, as well as accommodation from guest houses, apartments and private homes is in line to take up the slack.

Manager of Hospitality of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Samantha Sprott does not foresee accommodation posing a major problem.{{more}}

“Most of the hotels are occupied by the teams, media and sponsors already”, Sprott said.

Investigations done by SEARCHLIGHT of most of the hotels in the Villa area concurred with her disclosure.

But with 44 days to go before the first match is played this is not the case with some of the guest houses that are in close proximity to the Arnos Vale Playing Field, the venue for the matches. Some have indicated that they haven’t received any requests from potential visitors for the occasion.

Sprott said that the LOC had launched a bed and breakfast and home stay programme in conjunction with the Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism, to complement the established forms of commercial tourists’ accommodation.

“With the programme we currently have 79 rooms that have been inspected and another 28 are still under construction, with an additional 28 waiting to be inspected”, Sprott revealed.

She said that with applications still being processed more rooms will soon become available.

Large contingents of visitors are expected especially from England and Bermuda.

The Hospitality Manager pointed out that some of the persons coming for the matches are “day visitors”; hence they will not need accommodation.

In addition, she said that some persons will be here only for specific matches, while others will be coming by yachts which are self contained.

“Some will be staying with friends and relatives”, she added.

Sprott is optimistic that in the event that there is a late surge by persons wanting to view the matches, there are plans in place.

“Our plans are done in conjunction with tickets sales and we are monitoring that as well before we make alternative arrangements”, she advised.

Part of the plan is to use the Grenadines where there are available rooms.

The Hospitality manager said that the annual Blues Festival was specifically cued this year to coincide with the anticipated influx of visitors for the warm up matches.

However she was unable to give other definitive activities that will keep the visitors engaged.

The first match of the warm up series is set for March 5 between England and Bermuda, with Australia meeting Zimbabwe March 6.

Zimbabwe and Bermuda play each other March 8 and Australia face England March 9.