Federal Government plans community museums to boost tourism
The Federal Government has announced plans to establish community museums as part of efforts to ensure that local communities benefit from tourism.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the plan yesterday at the ongoing 4th World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Kyoto, Japan.
The Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, disclosed this to The Guardian.
“In Nigeria, we observed that tourists stay in the big cities when they visit. They visit the museums in the cities where objects gotten from different parts, including the rural areas, are displayed; but they hardly go to the rural areas.
“To encourage tourists to visit the rural areas where money spent is quickly reflected in the local economy, we are trying to establish community museums,” said the minister, who was among the panelists at the Ministerial Segment of the conference. The segment was dedicated to discussing and exchanging policies and government models impacting the future of cultural tourism.
Mohammed said the government would, in particular, encourage the establishment of palace museums.
“Parts of ancient residencies of traditional rulers and important chiefs are being turned to museums. Thus, we are not limiting museums to the big cities.”
“Money spent by tourists while visiting these rustic places stay longer in these areas. Lamido Adamawa now has the Fombina Palace museum, just like the Emir of Potiskum has palace museum,” he said.
The two-term minister said the government, through high-level representation, training of festival managers and provision of enabling environment, was supporting and promoting festivals and cultural tourism all over the country, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that local communities benefit from such events.
A national calendar of festivals will soon be unveiled to assist tourists who are coming to Nigeria in planning their visits, Mohammed said, adding that the country had continued to leverage on its areas of comparative advantage such as music, movies and fashion.