African Sports Tourism Summit returns after World Cup 2018

The African Sports Tourism Summit, the pan-African platform for sports and tourism stakeholders to exchange ad deliberate on socio-economic growth of Africa and her nations, will return on August 25, 2018, following its postponement due to the Russia 2018 World Cup. The event, which is one of the activities of African Sports Tourism Week, will gather pundits and stakeholders from both tourism and sports landscapes on discussions of how the two can work together to maximize the opportunities in sports tourism on the continent.

On the panel of discussants at the summit, which holds at Golfview Hotel & Suites, Ikeja GRA, Lagos are: Seyi Akinwunmi, 1st vice president, Nigeria Football Federation; Shehu Dikko, chairman, League Management Company, Abimbola Ilo, exclusive sales agent for Nigeria, FIFA Match Hospitality Programme, Tega Onojaife, founder, Ladies In Sports and Mozez Praiz, SuperSports presenter.

Others are; Michael Williams, head, marketing & media sales, EbonyLife TV; Abiola Bakare, sales manager, Kenya Airways; Kayode Tijani, curator, Nigerian Sports Library and Vinod Kaurani, Tripberry, while Sam Adeleke and Biola Kazeem will be moderating panel sessions at the summit.

Also scheduled is a session where representatives of different sport associations join in the conversation on the peculiarities of their beloved sports of choice and how tourism can be applied.

Speaking on the event, Deji Ajomale-McWord, CEO, African Sports Tourism Week, said, “ The question on my mind is: why have many African countries failed to understand that it is inadequate to start the bidding process for the hosting right of a sporting event, without carrying along sport hospitality experts? It is like a company that hosts management meetings every week, without the presence of the corporate communications manager. When such has PR disaster on its hands, who swings to its defense? Who remedies the bad press? Who advises on the likely public perception implication of the corporate decision about to be taken?

“This was exactly what happened in Asaba, this past week where 90 percent of the logistics disaster that characterized the opening of The African Senior Athletics Championship is traceable to frail travel and hospitality details, which are sports tourism experts’ forte, if only the LOC recognized that and consulted the right quarters. This is far from a blame game. It is rather a marriage proposal detailing how much the sports industry needs the tourism trade to reach its full potentials.

“The truth is tourism will exist with or without sports, because there are medical, culture, business, education, culinary and other aspects of tourism. But without travel and services in its value chain, Russia 2018 would have been a pipe dream.

“If only we know that survey backs the fact that sports tourists spend more than other tourists, Africa will stop trivializing sports tourism and do it right.”

On the rationale for the African Sports Tourism Week, he said, “Africa has a peculiar opportunity in sports tourism. Take golf for instance. Safari tops the list of reasons visitors come to Africa. Coincidentally, golf is the only sport that can be blended with safari, because golf itself assembles nature on a crafted piece of land. We came up with African Sports Tourism Week as a platform to showcase the fine African offerings. Aside the summit, there is the Safari Tee, a golf tournament and The Travel Cup, a soccer competition between travel professionals and travel writers/media”.

The event is designed to be hosted by different African countries, every year and interested participants can register here https://bit.ly/2vw6ugK.

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