MoBay City Run, a value added component to tourism - White
(New Director of Tourism, Donavon White (right) accepts a MoBay City Run 5th Anniversary plaque from Keisha Hitchman, member of the Organising Committee, on behalf the Jamaica Tourist Board Canada, during the10K/5K Run and Walk launch at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay on Tuesday.)
Calling the annual MoBay City Run a charity that “changes lives and fosters hope”, Director of Tourism Donovon White says it is also a value added component of tourism that could significantly boost arrivals.
Speaking at the 5th Anniversary Launch of the MoBay City Run at the Holiday Inn Resort, St James on Tuesday, White added that the 10k/5k event is also a perfect fit within the health and wellness industry and adds to the appeal of Destination Jamaica as a place for visitors to experience “our health and wellness offerings.”
“The Global Wellness Institute, a non-profit organization for the wellness industry, has identified the health and wellness industry as a $3.7 trillion market,” White pointed out. “This figure is expected to grow by another 43 per cent by 2020.”
White further noted that with the MoBay City Run growing in stature “with each passing year” it should not be long before Jamaica starts to attract legions of sports enthusiasts from around the world who will see the event as one of those marquee road races that warrants participation.
“It is widely expected that the wellness economy will continue an upward growth trajectory,” White added. “This simply means that the best is yet to come, and as the only event of its kind in Montego Bay, the MoBay City Run is poised to benefit from the steady growth in the international health and wellness industry.”
He further noted that the health and wellness sector represents a “most powerful duet” in helping the Jamaica Tourist Board to market Jamaica in the international marketplace.
“With over 20 road races each year, it is clear that we have the capacity, the infrastructure and the professionals who can successfully execute a road race,” White added.
“The Reggae Marathon, which is an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) certified course, is a model that can be replicated. That is what I want to see for all our road races –that we attract more international runners and that our courses become internationally certified with value added fun and adventure thrown in the mix.”
For her part, MoBay City Run’s chief organiser and founder Janet Silvera said she was thrilled to see the level of support the event has been receiving, adding that “we have indeed come a long way in only five years.”
“We are grateful to have been able to make an impact on so many young lives,” she noted. “In our very first year I had to auction some of my personal clothing online to jumpstart the event and to where in 2017 we successfully distributed some $4.5 million to students in several tertiary institutions and also a number of early childhood schools. This year for the very first time we will be adding a high school institution to the list of beneficiaries –Mount Alvernia High -which we will be giving half a million dollars to assist with much needed school repairs.”
Silvera, who has already received cash commitments from a number of sponsors, including Courts and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), said the “sky is the limit” for the MoBay City Run, adding that the ultimate goal is to give as many students as possible a chance at a quality education.
The MoBay City Run, now in its fifth year, will be held on May 6 with the starting point again being at the Old Hospital Park on Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay. The event will start at 6:00am where some 5,000 participants are expected.