Jan 31, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – Copa Airlines, one of the leading airlines in the region, signed a major marketing and promotion agreement with NexGen Golf Academy that will see the major airline’s flag flying over many of the upcoming golf events and programmes in Guyana. Compañia Panameña de Aviación, S.A., known simply as Copa Airlines, is the flag carrier of Panama. Headquartered in Panama City, Panama, the Airline connects destinations in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, through its Hub of the Americas, located at Tocumen International Airport.
Copa’s General Manager Camille Hackett said, “Our relationship with NexGen Global and Mr. Hussain has seen tremendous positive impact in the areas of development of the sport and the strides that have been made to include women and children in the game, has given us the assurance that this is the right step for Copa Airlines to take to provide the necessary support he and the Golf Association requires.”
President of the Guyana Golf Association and NexGen Golf Academy Aleem Hussain was effusive in his praise for Commercial Coordinator Nadine Oudkerk and Sales Executive Christopher Ferrell who he credited with the initiative to join forces to help develop the sport in Guyana. “This forward-thinking team saw the niche for growth and without hesitation did everything possible to ensure that we could form a sustainable partnership that will see as many as 3,000 new persons exposed to the game in the next twelve months.”
This year, as a part of this exciting partnership, many activities and events for new players and school children will be run off by NexGen Golf Academy, the Guyana Golf Association, and Ministry of Education Allied Arts Unit, whereby participants will have the opportunity to play and learn and in so doing, win lots of prizes simply by taking part in a covid-19 compliant activity.
According to Ms. Oudkerk, “The grand event that will take place in the first quarter will be a fabulous Hole-in One Contest, whereby the winner will receive a roundtrip ticket to any destination in the Americas where Copa Airlines flies!” (travel must be completed by certain dates and some restrictions do apply).
The activity will take place at the Academy on Woolford Avenue starting February 6th and all players have to do is hole the ball in one shot to win the incredible prize, a dream trip to the destination of their choice! “We expect that this will encourage many people to come out and get involved and Copa Airlines staff will be on hand at many of these activities to support NexGen Golf and the Guyana Golf Association and answer any questions persons may have about our services and destinations,” said Sales Executive Christopher Ferrell.
According to Hussain, 2021 will be a banner year for golf as the interest in the sport has risen to new levels and there are several major developments underway. “With the construction of the 18-hole Championship golf course in Maraiko Bay underway and at least three other courses set for construction, Guyana will soon become a golf destination and that means great news for tourism, hotels, airlines and other service providers. Golfers are amongst the highest spenders in the tourism industry averaging approximately US$3,950 per golfer on a golf trip and add to the fact that most golfers love to live near or on a golf course, value of properties tend to increase by 30% or more wherever courses are built.”
A 4-bedroom golf course home in neighbouring Barbados rents for as much as US$3,000-$4,500/night depending on the season and it’s the same in Jamaica and virtually every other golf destination. “We have missed out for far too long on this lucrative market and we see this partnership with Copa Airlines and the development of Maraiko Bay and other golf communities as the path to new wealth for Guyanese investors and homeowners,” said Hussain. “We see Maraiko Bay as rivaling any of the Caribbean’s best resort properties since it offers everything and more that they provide – championship golf, marina, shopping, beach, and eco-tours.”
With a championship golf course, the airlift will increase and so will revenues from sports tourism and the possibility of hosting major golf tournaments on a regular basis is fast becoming a reality. With golf having now been introduced into the school system, and with the excellent corporate support and sponsorship being placed behind the development of the game, Guyana will be in a position to compete on an international and even an Olympic level in a short time.
Hussain emphasized that the number and quality of the facilities under the Nexgen Global umbrella will continually improve but the goal is to lower the cost of playing golf while making it more accessible to a wider audience. “Our corporate partners agree that for far too long, this incredible sport has been kept out of the hands of our citizens and this is the first of many cooperation agreements designed to allow thousands of Guyanese to play Golf.”
For more information on Copa Airlines, their destinations and services, please visit their local office on 212 Camp Street or www.copaair.com. To find out about the Hole-in One tournament or any golf activities at the NexGen Golf Academy, you can find information on Facebook or call 645-0944.
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