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Finally, African Sports Tourism Summit returns


Deji Ajomale-McWord

Following earlier postponement by the organisers, the African Sports Tourism Summit, a pan-African platform where sports and tourism stakeholders brainstorm towards socioeconomic growth for Africa, will make a return on August 25, 2018. The event, which is one of the activities of African Sports Tourism Week, will gather pundits and stakeholders from both tourism and sports sectors, as robust discussion on how the two can work together to maximize the opportunities in sports tourism on the continent, will be held.

Among confirmed panelists for the event include Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation and Lagos FA Chairman; Shehu Dikko, 2nd Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation & League Management Company Chairman; Abimbola Ilo, CEO Integral Sande & Exclusive Sales Agent for Nigeria; Tega Onojaife, Renowned Sportscaster & Founder, Ladies In Sports and Mozez Praiz, SuperSports Presenter. Others are Michael D Williams, Head, Marketing & Media Sales, EbonyLife TV; Abiola Bakare, Sales Manager, Kenya Airways; Kayode Tijani, veteran sports journalist & curator, Nigerian Sports Library and Vinod Kaurani of Tripberry. Meanwhile, Sam Adeleke and Biola Kazeem have been unveiled as moderators.

Holding at the Golfview Hotel & Suites, GRA, Ikeja, starting from 10am, the event will also feature a special session where representatives of different sports association join in the conversation on the peculiarities of their beloved sports of choice and how tourism can be applied.


Speaking on the event, the CEO, African Sports Tourism Week, Deji Ajomale-McWord said, “the question on my mind is, why have many African countries failed to understand that it is inadequate to start the bidding process – at the first place – for the hosting right of a sporting event, without carrying along sport hospitality experts? It’s like a company that hosts management meetings every week, without the presence of the Corporate Communications Manager. When we have PR disaster on hand, who swings to its defence? Who remedies the bad press? Who advises on the likely public perception implication of the corporate decision about to be taken,” he quizzed.

He continued: “This was exactly what happened in Asaba this past week; 90 per cent of the logistics disaster that characterized the opening of The African Senior Athletics Championship is traceable to loose travel and hospitality details, which are sports tourism experts forte. If only the LOC recognised that and consulted the right quarters, we won’t have experience such disaster.”

To him, this is far from a blame game, “It’s 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,” he said.

On what motivated the African Sports Tourism Week, he said, “Africa has a peculiar opportunity in sports tourism. Take golf for an example, Safari tops the list of reasons why Wanderlusters 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. Safari and Africa are like word and synonym. This means that Africa is a prime destination for safari golf.”

He continued: “We came up with African Sports Tourism Week as a platform to showcase these 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.”

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