The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State governor on Tourism, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has described the newly introduced 5km weekly walk initiative by the prosperity administration for appointees and civil servants as a trigger for more sports/walking tourism activities in the state.
He hinted that studies have confirmed that health and fitness programmes have great impact on productivity, adding that it has been proven that those who regularly engage in fitness programmes have less depression, stress and less anxiety compared to people who do not exercise.
Speaking with travel writers in Yenagoa over the weekend, Mr Kiyaramo thanked Senator Douye Diri for the 5km weekly walk initiative, explaining that well planned and coordinated sports tourism events usually attract significant benefits to host destinations.
He said sports tourism has become a booming sector that delivers financial and visibility rewards to host locations, noting that promoting walking tourism is one of the most popular ways to experience a destination.
According to the SSA on Tourism, it is good for workers and political appointees to engage in regular and vigorous fitness exercises to keep fit to enhance their performance at work.
The governor’s aide, also a graduate of physical and and health education, from University of Port Harcourt, said well coordinated outdoor physical activities can improve one’s health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
He added that: “Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life and productivity in public service.”
Mr Kiyaramo said walking tourism allows travelers to better engage with local populations, nature and culture, while meeting the growing demand for outdoor activities in general.
It will be recalled that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in its recent report indicated that walking tourism can serve as practical reference for destinations seeking to develop such tourism offerings.
According to the report, “increasing consumer demand for experiencing a destination in an authentic way and the growing popularity of active tourism make walking tourism more and more relevant beyond walking activities, showcasing a destination as a whole including its local culture and nature.”