Deji Ajomale, Founder, League of African Sports Tourism Stakeholders, on Wednesday, advised both Federal and State Governments to provide necessary sporting facilities at the stadia to develop sports tourism.
Ajomale gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, sports tourism is capable of boosting the nation’s Internally Generated Revenue but the necessary infrastructure should be put in place to attract sports tourists.
He decried the sub-standard condition of stadia in some states, saying that the stadia were not attractive enough to woo both local and international tourists.
Ajomale suggested that each stadium must be equipped with basic infrastructure and sporting facilities as most sport tourists were discouraged by poor state of stadia and lack of facilities.
“For sports tourism to be taken to another level in Nigeria, we must put the necessary infrastructure in the stadia with modern sporting facilities and more.
“The road network to the stadia should also be rehabilitated.
“Most of the nation’s stadia are not properly maintained because they had not been positioned to generate enough revenue.
“When the right facilities are in place, the youth will be meaningfully engaged and their talents in different sports will come to play, ‘’ he said.
Ajomale said that all sports must be given equal attention if sports tourism must see the light of the day in the country.
“Over the years, football, basketball, lawn tennis and more had been given priority, while others were not developed at all. This mindset should be dealt with,’’ he said.
Ajomale said that it was sad to know that the nation only had one golf resort which he described as the best in Africa.
He, however, said that adequate awareness had not been created to attract tourists to the golf resort.
He said that, “If proper awareness is not created for the Ibom Golf Resort in Akwa Ibom, the site would not be able to generate adequate income to maintain it.’’
According to him, golf is another sport that can generate huge revenue for the country.
“If more standard golf resorts can be built, we will generate more revenue through sports tourism because a golf enthusiast gains different experiences at different golf courses,’’ he said.
By Taiye Baiyerohi