Domestic Tourism: Lagos deepens discussions
Targets Foreign Tourists
Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has engaged various stakeholders in the tourism sector including tour operators, hoteliers, tourism promoters, ambassadors among others on workable strategy and synergy that would sell the State’s tourism potentials to local and international tourists through its domestic tourism initiative.
The two-day Tourism Summit held at Dover Hotel, Allen-Ikeja on Tuesday, with the theme “The Beauty of Lagos”.
The Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Honourable Fatai Oluwa, said that the House of Assembly was in full support of the decision of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to domesticate tourism activities in the State. “ The House of Assembly as part of its demonstration of interest in revamping the tourism sites across the state, recently embarked on visitation to all monument sites in the state with the intention of upgrading the sites to international standard.”
He added that the legislative arm of the state government is willing to support the realisation of the plans of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s administration as it relates to entertainment and tourism by providing necessary legislative backings for the policies of the Ministry.
Oluwa assured that all reports and recommendations from the summit would be worked upon for approval by the State House of Assembly.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who set agenda for discussion at the summit, said the theme seeks to get the best of Lagos in the area of tourism through meaningful and very engaging.
She urged the participants to seize the opportunity to have robust and fruitful deliberation. “The Ministry had already ensured that structured plans were in place to develop existing tourism sites in the state to international standards. This is why we need to involve all key stakeholders in tourism activities in order to bring the plans to fruition.”
Akinbile-Yussuf further said, “I want us to use this gathering to fine-tune our strategy that will sell “The Best of Lagos” to potential tourists who are desirous of finding the best of entertainment, fun and relaxation and value for their money. Aside from the economic activities which Lagos State has been known for, we are determined to market “The Best of Lagos” brand to tourists within and outside the country. This, we intend to achieve with the collaboration of all our stakeholders here.”
The Commissioner emphasised that the Ministry wants tourists from within and outside the country to leave their places of residence to come to Lagos and experience the best which this city offers in term of hospitality, recreation, relaxation, sight-seeing and many more, by planning a three day, five days, ten days or even several weeks of holiday to visit different tourism sites across the State. She also noted that the Ministry had discovered new tourism sites in Badagry and Epe, and that the Ministry is presently creating Tourism Desks in all local councils areas across the State in order to further develop domestic tourism. “With the creation of tourism desks, it would be easier for the ministry to take inventory of the various tourism sites in these localities and make provisions for them.”
In his remark, Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Bonu Solomon, assured that the outcome of the two-day gathering will not be swept under the carpet. “This summit is a proof of our intention to make this sector continue to play the lead among other competing sectors.”
Tourism Advisory Consultant, Adun Okupe, urged Lagos State Government to train tour operators and tour guides who were the frontliners in order to arouse and sustain the interest of potential tourists. She said: “The need for the State Government to upgrade the tourism sites to international standards for the advancement of the economy and to generate more revenue. She however, called on the government to work on orienting and improving the people’s perspective to see Lagos as a tourist centre.
Tourism Ambassador, Ikechi Uko, in his presentation at the event advocated the creation of tourism clusters and identification of tourism demographics across the State as a way of giving tourists a narrative that shows Lagos in a different light. “The tourism potentials of each of the divisions in Lagos are yet to be fully harnessed. Lagos Island, for instance, has the whole colonial history of modern Nigeria but no one is promoting the fact that the amalgamation of Nigeria was presented to Nigerians in Lagos. Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom, and Zungeru in Niger State are fighting for the Amalgamation Houses but not Lagos. There should be daily trekking tours of the Island identifying the Houses of Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Ajasa after visiting Freedom Park and the new Brazilian Museum.”
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