BACKGROUND OF THE 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, participate and watch sports event dates back to the ancient Olympic Games (Higham J, 2010). Hotel patronage is the business that comes into an establishment generating revenue. 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 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 its call that Sports tourism (Canadian Tourism Commission). The British Tourism Authority claims that 20% of the tourist trips are for the prime purpose of sports participation, and 50% of the tourist trips include among other purposes sports participation. Increasing media exposure of sports events over the last decades has raised the profile of many sports, and although the television coverage is better than at any time in the past a number of sports fans want to experience live events thereby generating great demand, as fans want to see their sporting idol in the fresh. While big events will attract large numbers of spectators and increase hotel patronage, mass participation events can have a sizeable economic effect. And, in the longer term, creating a tourism package that includes sports among a range of attractions may well deliver more sustained benefits. Crickets, Foot ball, Tennis, Rugby and Hockey are the popular sports in the world today. Popular sports events have attached large number of international spectators. Bidding to host sports events has become a competitive business with many cities, regions and countries vying to attract major games. The main sources market for the sports tourism are, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Australia and South Africa. 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 sports 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 impact of sport tourism on hotel patronage.
STATEMENT OF 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. Studies from other countries portray that hospitality cum tourism have contribute meaningfully to their economic development contributing a significant percentage of the GDP and employee a teaming population of the workforce. Hence the study examines the impact of sports tourism on hotel patronage.
AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine impact of sports tourism on hotel patronage. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant relationship between sports tourism and hotel patronage.
H1: There is a significant relationship between sports tourism and hotel patronage.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will explore the contributions of the sports in the economic development of Nigeria an through hotel 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 AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to impact of sport tourism on hotel patronage.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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).
Patronage: patronage is the business that comes into an establishment generating revenue; it can also be seen as business or activity provided by a patron. For this study the above definition was adapted to be: the business or activities provided by patrons (tourists) in a destination, generating revenue.
Hotels: building that provides lodging, meals, and other services to the traveling public on a commercial basis. A motel performs the same functions as a hotel but in a format designed for travelers using automobiles.
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