Access Bank Marathon has buoyed Lagos’ tourism appeal, says Olopade
Consultant to the Access Bank Marathon, Bukola Olopade has revealed that the yearly competition has turned Lagos into a huge sports tourism centre with thousands of road race enthusiasts always looking forward to the event.
This year, over 4,000 runners from 42 countries around the world have registered to participate in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. This figure does not include over 200 professional runners mostly from Asia, Europe, America, Kenya, Ethiopia and other East, Central and South African countries.
Late last year, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Head of Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas revealed that Americans are the highest number of foreigners expected in Lagos for 2019 race slated for February 2, 2019.
Japanese are a close second. Other countries whose citizens have registered for the 2019 race include Holland, Germany, Israel, Poland, England, New Zealand, Canada, Egypt, Austria, Tunisia, Norway, Denmark and others.
Thomas was optimistic that the number will increase before the close of entries this month.
Olopade attributes the increase in the number of tourists coming to Lagos for the race to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s several initiatives and beautification of Lagos State since he was elected governor and has made the state tourist friendly.
“We thank Governor Ambode for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which is driving a high number of tourists to Lagos annually, but apart from the marathon, his beautification of Lagos and other laudable projects like the One Lagos Fiesta and others have turned Lagos State into a tourist destination.”
Olopade assured that the 2019 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon would be better than the previous editions in several areas, adding, “this year, we are expecting about 150,000 runners.
“I can assure you that we are planning for more than figure, we have expanded the recovery areas and medals and certificates that will go round all the runners, entertainment, as usual, will be world class, this edition will be an experience of a lifetime for runners and spectators.”
In the first edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon in 2016, about 100 runners from 15 countries participated, in 2017 there were over a 1000 runners from 20 countries and the 2018 edition had over 2000 runners from 30 countries.
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