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US and Nigeria partner on sports tourism

Onyinyechi Nwangwu  Oct 03, 2009

An agreement has been initiated between the US and Nigeria which would provide a platform for both countries to share knowledge and build a mutually-beneficial relationship enabling more American tourists to Nigeria to watch and participate in traditional and contemporary sports and other related tourism activities in Nigeria.

At a recent meeting with the members of the joint action committee of the National Sports Tourism Fiesta, Public Diplomacy Officer at the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Flynn, described the idea of sports tourism as an innovative one that deserves all the support it could get.

Mr. Flynn, who received the team in the company of the Cultural Assistance of the Embassy, Mr. Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, however, drew attention to the need for the members of the action committee and the officers of the embassy to harmonize the specific traditional sporting activities that would be used to attract foreign tourists.

He said: "We will link you up to the sports and tourism-related agencies in the United States who would be able to assist you in giving reality to your dreams."

While the committee to reach out to Nigerian missions in the US and other countries, so that they would be at the vanguard of the Nigerian sports tourism project in those countries, he stressed the need for African countries to be mobilized to buy into the concept.

In his earlier remarks, Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, Mr. Mustapha Mohammed, explained that the National Sports Tourism Fiesta was a product of a public private partnership between the National Sports Commission, Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, and Messer Lemiux Nigeria Limited as the private sector driver.

According to him, "The Fiesta was conceived to encourage local and foreign investment in sports tourism in Nigeria, showcase Nigeria's potentials in sports, use sports tourism as a tool for massive employment generation, use sports tourism to generate revenue for government, use sports tourism as a tool to foster national unity, and to revolutionize sports tourism development in Nigeria."

He listed some of the events and programs already put in place by the ministerial joint action committee on the project to include: Abuja International Art Mini-Marathon, NSTF Super kids Challenge, They As, You Answer Sports Tourism Reality Quiz TV Show, Tongues of Nigeria, National Sports Tourism Conference Exhibition, and Fiesta.

US and Nigeria partner on sports tourism
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