Smokin Hills’ boss laments effects of insecurity on golf tourism
Golf is one aspect of the sports sector that should drive the country’s tourism industry going by its popularity among the elite of the world. Unfortunately, it has failed to so that due to the insecurity ravaging the country.
And to arrest the situation, the management of one of the most expensive golf courses in Africa, Smokin Hills Golf Resort, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State has called for urgent measures to address the situation.He is particularly worried by the spate of insecurity along Ondo-Ibadan road, which is fast affecting the country’s golf tourism industry.
Smokin Hills’ Promotion Manager, Bayo Aderinto said insecurity in this axis is challenging “our revenue, talking of inflow of tourists and golfers into the facilities.”
Aderinto opined that for any economy to strive, it must be politically and economically stable, “and when we are talking of stability, we talk about peace; we are talking of freedom of movement, which initiate actions and reactions.
“I believe the government of the day should address this as a matter of urgency.“Golf is tourism and we are trying to drive the club by synergizing sports and tourism but the spate of insecurity these days in this part of the country is challenging our revenue, talking of inflow of tourists and golfers into the facilities. The only succour we have now is that we can fly directly into Akure from Lagos and Abuja.”
Aderinto added that Chief Ade Ojo’s passion for golf was responsible for the establishment of the world class golf course, which, he claimed, has moved the golf capital of the country to Ilara-Mokin
“As confirmed by the DSTV when they came here in 2016 and rated the course as the most challenging on the African continent. It is a $25 million investment and we are using $1 million to maintain it every year.”
On the activities within the club, Aderinto said there would be an event in November, which is the 16th Wuraola Ojo Memorial Golf Tournament in honour of the late wife of Chief Ade Ojo. He described it as the flagship event on Nigeria’s golfing calendar in view of its consistency for the past 16 years.It is sponsored by Toyota Nigeria Limited with the hole-in-one winner going home with N5 million, according to Aderinto, who added that the over all winner would also be handsomely rewarded.
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