The 2011 Makka Pro surfing contest being hosted by the Jamaica Surfing Association at the Makka Surfing Beach at Southaven, Yallahs Saint Thomas from the 15-17 July, is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever surf events in Jamaican surf history with the official sponsorship of the Jamaica Tourist Board! The event is attracting enquiries from pro surfers from Trinidad to New York as this year’s Makka Pro is the 3rd event in the 2011 Western Atlantic Pro Surf Series.
With the recent successes by Jamaican surfers on the regional and international stages, the surfing world is now taking Jamaica’s surf much more seriously. The Makka Pro now in its 5th year is demonstrating that the Jamaica Surfing Association is committed to ensuring Jamaica becomes recognized as a genuine destination for adventurous surf travelers. The JTB recognizes this fact and has committed to sponsorship of the Makka Pro and will be actively working to promote the event and by extension, the sport of surfing in Jamaica.
“Jamaica enjoys an enduring legacy of excellence in sport and given its international renown as a first class tourist destination, we are in an advantageous position to carve out a niche for ourselves in the lucrative and fast growing sports tourism market” said JTB Deputy Director of Tourism Cruise, Events and Attractions Mr. Jason Hall.
“At the Jamaica Tourist Board, we are particularly pleased to be associated with the Makka Pro Surf event, which brings together sport and community tourism in a unique setting in St Thomas, showcasing our natural beauty and our warm culture. Surfing is a multi-billion dollar industry with several hundred thousand surfers around the world and we commend Billy Mystic Wilmot and his team for their vision and hard work to put together a world class event which we feel will help in positioning Jamaica as a leading surf destination in the region”
“The creation and growth of this event over the past five years is putting the alternate tourism spotlight on a region of Jamaica that has been neglected for a long time…..” Said JSA President Billy Wilmot “…now the eastern end of our island can stand up and present world class extreme sporting attractions and vacation options that cannot be offered by Jamaica’s traditionally promoted tourism products at the western end of the island… a genuine niche market which is already attracting surf tourism clients.”
More and more local businesses are now coming forward interested in being a part the major annual calendar event for the Southwest Saint Thomas community. Citizens are seeing surfing as the foundation for establishing tourism as a viable business option for their area.
“Saint Thomas have whole heap of attractions already…” said one informed and enthusiastic resident, “… Morant Point Lighthouse over 100 feet high and built in 1841 is the oldest lighthouse in the island, Reich Falls with the 30-foot water fall, big pool and underground springs, Paul Bogle Statue in the center of Morant Bay, Bath natural mineral spring and Botanical Garden, Stokes Hall, the 17th Century property of the former Governor of Nevis, Blue Mountain Peak and now Surfing… man we gone clear!”