Marathon commitment made

As part of its ongoing contribution to the resurgence of the Cayman Islands as a first-class tourist destination, Cayman National has committed its support to the Cingular (formerly AT&T Wireless) Cayman Islands Marathon, a sporting event which is expected to bring hundreds of tourists to these shores on its newly-rescheduled date of Sunday, 6 March 2005.

The Marathon was supposed to take place on Sunday, 5 December 2004 but as a result of Hurricane Ivan and the subsequent rebuilding effort currently taking place, a new date had to be set.

‘This event and its new date in March can be used as a means of getting the message out that Grand Cayman is open for business and that runners are welcome to run through our streets and enjoy our world-renown Caymanian warmth and hospitality,’ explained race organiser Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Ltd. ‘We are thrilled that Cayman National has recognized the potential for success in this event, and have demonstrated their forward thinking by supporting the race in these trying times.’

‘Cayman National is pleased to be a part of the Cayman Islands Marathon again this year, particularly as it will provide much needed support for the Cadet Corps, which is such a worthy cause,’ said Stuart Dack, Cayman National Chief Executive. ‘Many sponsorship budgets have been cut, perhaps even eliminated, in the wake of Ivan but we at Cayman National see this event as an opportunity to help reenergize the tourism product by bringing hundreds of visitors back to the island, which is imperative at this time, whilst also providing funding for a youth organisation.’

Sports tourism is a relatively new concept in the Caribbean, says Rhonda, but countries such as St. Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, and more recently, St. Kitts & Nevis, are utilizing this innovative marketing tool with significant results. ‘These countries have seen tremendous success and tourism growth as a result of a concentrated effort to market themselves as sports destinations. Cayman too can reap the benefits of this unique market.’

Other supporters of the marathon include the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, Z99, Flowers Bottled Water, Gatorade, Texaco, The Final Touch, KPMG & CUC. For more information about the AT&T Wireless Cayman Islands Marathon, log on to www.CaymanIslandsMarathon.com or call 525 8822.

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