Sports tourism is one of the most rapidly growind tourism industries. Sporting activities, whether or not sports is the main aim of travel, is becoming increasingly important to visitors. Sporting events of various sizes attract tourists, while participants or spectators and places try to add a local flavor to them and offer authentic local experiences. Mega sporting events such as Olympics and World Cups that serve as a catalyst for tourism development if they are successful in terms of destination branding, development of infrastructure and other economic and social benefits.
Eto’o Charity Match and Gala Dinner
Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroonian football legend, celebrated the Eto’o Private Foundation’s 10th Year Anniversary with a Gala Dinner. The event was organized by the Global Tourism Forum and honored by former and present football stars and entertainers alike.
The occasion became one of the world’s most colorful gatherings thanks to the Global Tourism Forum’s meticulous work. Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s star player, was one of the prominent guests at the monumental event. Hazard speaks highly of Eto’o as a milestone as the latter played a major role in his career by sending Hazard to play for Lille. Also, Eric Abidal, Fabio Capello, Puyol, Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, David James, Marcel Dessaily and Kolo Toure honored the night. His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Menders Türel, the Mayor of Antalya, was there to celebrate the player, who boosted tourism in Turkey since his arrival in early 2015. Almost every television channel in Turkey broadcast the gala event live and the whole nation cherished those moments at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya.
The game was scheduled to be played the day after the gala dinner but had to be canceled due to the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. The Eto’o Charity Football Match was to be played under the auspices of the His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was expected to make a significant impact on Turkish tourism. Nearly 33,000 spectators were expected to attend it.