The Director of Tripberry, Mr. Vinod Kaurani has said Nigeria is currently losing at least one billion naira weekly for not harnessing its potentials in Sports Tourism, saying the losses may continue unless some measures are put in place to reverse the trend.
Speaking at the African sports tourism summit held in Lagos, Vinod said everywhere in the world, sports and tourism move together,saying none can be relegated for another.
He said, “When you look at other countries in the world that had opportunity to host sporting events, sports bring in a lot of good tidings in that country.
“Imagine the impact of world cup 2010 in South Africa on their country in terms of development in their stadia, the impact in their manufacturing industry, the money it brought in for the hotels, their transport and also how much their government generated from it, and when we translate that into our country you can only imagine the transformation it will bring’’.
Also commenting on the issue, sports presenter, Mr. Kayode Tijani emphasised that the country does not take sports seriously and still has a long way to go.
He said, “When you look at Brazil 2014, the competition fetched them about $11m but here in Africa we are not taking the business side seriously”.
Tijani also stressed that the country should use the image of its sport heroes to sell Nigeria.
“I don’t see the reason we cannot use our sport legend as tourists’ destination for people around the world to visit. Other countries are doing it and it is increasing the revenue of those countries. It saddens me when I see something different happening in our country.
‘’Have you been to Muda Lawal burial site? When you visit the site that place is more or less a dump site. We cannot make money from it when we don’t treat them well”.
Also speaking, Mr. Bakare Abiola, who represents Kenya Airways said the airline is ready to go any length in supporting sport and tourism in the country, pointing out that Africa has been missing in sporting activities itself.
‘’ Nigeria wasted the opportunity they had when they hosted world Junior world cup to sell the country. When you look at Russia world cup 2018, it was not about the football but they used that event to market their culture because 65 per cent of the activities can be put under tourism while 35 per cent is on football”.
While appreciating the guest speaker, the convener of African sports tourism, Mr. Deji Ajomale explained that the reason for the summit was to bring stakeholders in sports and tourism together so that they can exchange ideas and stretch a hand of fellowship for the socio-economic gain of the country.
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