By: Tewodros Sahile
Addis Ababa, June 5, 2023 (Walta) – Ethiopia has epic untapped tourism resources. Its thousands of years of rich culture and history, extreme landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna make the country one of the top tourism destinations in Africa.
That is just by the common and familiar standard. One particular tourism segment stands out as overlooked but unparalleled potential-sport tourism.
As defined by Gibson, sports tourism is a “leisure-based travel that takes individuals temporarily outside of their home communities to participate and/or watch physical activities or to venerate attractions associated with physical activities”
Sports tourism is worth trillions of dollars in industry and growing faster every year. By many standards, Ethiopia has enormous sport tourism resources due to its landscape, and history of long-distance track races, and domestic sporting events.
Attended by over 30 thousand people, the Great Ethiopian Run has been attracting foreign tourists from near and far. In addition, owning to the steep hills and narrow gorges, rafting could be another sports tourism attraction luring adventure tourists.
Ethiopian Premier League, with its own shortcoming, is attended by football lovers and fans all over the country. Thousands of dedicated fans traveling to different tournaments hosted in different parts of the country. Which by definition put the spectators and the participants in the sport tourism sector.
Taking the potential contribution of the sector and the global trends into account, Ethiopia should prepare the ground for the sector to flourish in terms of devising policy and development of infrastructure.