Water transportation as precursor for tourism
While reliance on proceeds from oil resources is fast becoming a mirage, states with vision are thinking out of the box and diversifying their economies. At the forefront of states looking inwards is Lagos. Tourism, especially water tourism, is an area the state needs to pursue with vigour and explore the coastline areas for their economic benefits.
According to the Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr. Folorunso Folarin Coker, the state, also fondly called ‘Land of Aquatic Splendour’ has plans to improve tourism in the state through its One Lagos Fiesta that takes over from the yearly Christmas Bar Beach Fireworks of the Babatunde Fasola era.
As Coker put it, “Lagos has like 32 per cent aquatic life. It is not being utilised the way it ought to be. We have very good beaches that we are looking at. From Ilashe down to Badagry axis, Lekki, from Oniru to Elegushi; there are possibilities.
“We want to start getting establishments that will develop along the coastline like bars, restaurants, gift shops, etc. We need to build the confidence in the water transportation and activities around the coastline before we start encouraging or inviting people to come and see what it is that we are consuming or enjoying in Lagos. Recently, I was at the beach in Ilashe. That is how it starts; we will build confidence in people to take to it”.
For now, however, the One Lagos Fiesta is the state’s hotpot of tourism activities that are spread across five zones. As Coker, explained, “I think what happened from December 27 through 31, 2015 in One Lagos Fiesta crossover has set a standard that we are going to implement in Lagos State. It is the experiment for tourism. For example, during that period what we did was to use entertainment as a tool to provide tourism.
“So, instead of having one crossover event countdown at Bar Beach, we had to decentralise it into different locations. Instead of one location, we now had it in Badagry, Ikorodu, Ekpe, Agege and Bar Beach. We took it to the community, which is the lowest level in terms of art. People had to travel to Bar Beach to watch the crossover fireworks.”
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