This study was carried out on the examination of sport tourism and the performance of the tourism industry using Imo State as a case study. To achieve this, thee significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises of staff of the selected tourism centers and hotels in Imo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 67 respondents while 60 were received and 60 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that sport tourism helps to boost the profitability of tourism industry; sport tourism contributes to the overall performance of the tourism industry. The findings also revealed that sport tourist patronizes tourist centres in their sport destination. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that there should be good policies-framework in Nigeria towards the development of rural and urban tourism; and indigenous and local handicrafts should be encouraged among Nigeria youths especially in technical schools, so as to have more tourism attractions for sport tourist.
Keywords: Sport, Tourism, Tourism Industry.
Background Of Study
Globally, tourism has become an important policy tool for community and regional development in many developed and developing countries. Tourism also has significant potential to influence and change the use of natural and cultural resources in a number of regions. It provides new opportunities, employment and economic benefits to local communities and promotes the growth of the hospitality industry. Tourism is an important sector for economic development in a country. People usually travel for many reasons. Sport is one of the important reasons for promoting tourist industry. With the development of the society and improvement of people living standard, sports tourism gradually becomes one of the faster growing industries. People travelling to lodge in the hotel, tour around the sport location, participate and watch sports event dates back to the ancient Olympic Games (Higham J, 2010). Patronage can come in the form of customers, other businesses or companies; it can also be seen as business or activity provided by a patron. The patron in tourism context refers to the tourist who patronizes a destination. The facilities, attractions and publicity of a destination affect its patronage. Low patronage of a destination affects the usage of tourism centers, destination facilities and the morale of workers who depend on the tourism industry for their employment and sustenance. The relationship between sports and tourism in the modern world is symbiotic. Sports tourism economic development was the debatable topic in world last two decades. Tourism is travelling for predominantly recreational or leisure, business purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. According to the World Tourism Organization, tourists define as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited ”(World Tourism Organization, ). Tourism is an important sector of economic development in a country, due to the income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists, the taxes levied on businesses in the tourism industry, and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportation services such as aircraft, cruise ships, and taxis, accommodation, hotels, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and other hospitality industry services such as spas and resorts. Peoples usually travel for many reasons such as jobs, Business, leisure, Religion Activities, Medicine. Sport is another important reason for tourism. With the development of the society and the improvement of peoples’ living standard, sports tourism gradually becomes one of the most important parts of the popular healthy lifestyle and also it is one of the fastest growing market segments in the tourism industry. World tourism arrivals are projected to grow at 4, 3 present per year and reach 1.6 billion by 2020 (Simon Hudson, 2009). One of the faster growing areas contributing to these staggering statistics is sports tourism. During the last two decades, Sports tourism development was the one of the main debatable topic in the world. International Olympic Committee and World Tourism organizations had given attention to develop the sports tourism. Sports tourism is the Travel undertaken for the purpose of engaging in particular sports events such as Cricket World cup, Olympic Games, SAARC games, Foot ball competitions. According to Canadian Tourism Commission, who travel more than 80km or stay overnight to attend, complete or otherwise be involved in a sporting events, and visiting tourism centers within the location (Canadian Tourism Commission). Sports tourism is not only one of the simple forms of tourism, which is also a thrifty field that makes the tourism industry and sports industry develop together. Sports tourism is just at its beginning stage, but it’s increasing and better to improve the peoples’ participation consciousness and supply a good opportunity develop the tourism industry. Sports tourism market is an important aspect of the foundation for sports tourism development. Sports tourism base on the factors of motivation of tourists and travel experiences do sports tourist seek in association with that they peruse at a given designation. It is against this backdrop that the study examine the sport tourism and the performance of the tourism industry.
Statement Of The Problem
Tourism is a socio-cultural phenomenon and it is a quiet revolution that has gradually swept through the world, in both developed and undeveloped nations. As an outward sign, mankind is beginning to reshape its attitude towards the conservation of the natural environment, complete with animals, plants, stonework, vines, mist, sound and even man himself, which are all active components of the earth (Fred, 2014). People usually travel for many reasons. Sport is one of the important reasons for promoting hospitality industry. With the development of the society and improvement of people living standard, sports tourism gradually becomes one of the faster growing industries(Tsiotsu and Ratten 2010).
Objectives Of The Study
Generally, this study examines the sport tourism and the performance of the tourism industry.
1. Examine whether sport tourism boost the profitability of tourism industry.
2. Determine whether sport tourism contributes to the overall performance of the tourism industry.
3. Determine whether sport tourist patronize tourist centres in their sport destination.
4. Ascertain the factors that affect sport tourist patronage of tourism centers in Imo State.
The study will be guided by the following questions
- Does sport tourism boost the profitability of tourism industry?
- Does sport tourism contributes to the overall performance of the tourism industry?
- Does sport tourist patronize tourist centres in their sport destination?
- What are the factors that affect sport tourist patronage of tourism centers in Imo State?
Significance Of The Study
This study will explore the contributions of the sports tourism in the economic development of Nigeria an through tourism patronage. It is intended to be of interest to policy makers, hospitality industry operators and companies who would find the study very essential as a guide in structuring the hospitality sector make it a contributor to national economic development, putting all the necessary facilities in place to enhance efficiency and also increase the level of their contributions. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
Scope Of The Study
The study focuses on the sport tourism and the performance of the tourism industry. The study will further examine whether sport tourism boost the profitability of tourism industry, determine whether sport tourism contributes to the overall performance of the tourism industry, determine whether sport tourist patronize tourist centres in their sport destination, and ascertain the factors that affect sport tourist patronage of tourism centers in Imo State. The respondents for this study will be obtained from three selected tourism centers and two hotels in Imo State.
Limitation Of The Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.
Operational Definition Of Terms
Tourism: is defined as the entire activities of person(s) travelling to and staying in a place(s) outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited (UNWTO, 2010).
Sports tourism refers to travel which involves either observing or participating in a sporting event while staying apart from the tourists’ usual environment.