Plateau woos tourism and travel investors with massive infrastructures upgrade
Calls For Inclusion Of Plateau As Tourism Hub In Nigeria
The Plateau State government has reiterated its resolve to ensure that the state reclaims its positioned as the preferred tourists’ destination in Nigeria.
Governor Simon Lalong, made this known at the just concluded Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Annual General Meeting 2018 held Hill Station Hotel, Jos, with theme: ‘Security Challenges and Promotion of Tourism in Nigeria’.
Represented by the deputy governor, Prof Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, he said one of the policy trusts of the state was the provision of greater infrastructure and the development of a sustainable environment for the growth of tourism in the state.
According to him, the administration upon assumption of office unveiled a five policy trust governance intervention agenda, stressing that peace, security and good governance were the first item on the list.
He said, “The security of lives and property in an environment of peace is one of the primary concern of this government and it is the fulcrum upon which we desires to promote the attainment of a sustainable environment.
“Given the immense tourism potentials Plateau State is endowed with coupled with the temperate weather, which the state is known for, government saw the need to provide critical infrastructure in its urban governance and rural transformation agenda,” he added.
The governor further explained that the State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality together with all the subsidiary agencies have in the last two years made concerted efforts to ensure that through the annual cultural and entertainment events including tourism, which have held across the state are created to keep Plateau State in the tourism calendar events of the country.
“The Plateau State carnival, road show and music fiesta are experiencing and receiving national recognition and I can assure you it will soon rival and possibly surpass other carnivals in the country. Plateau State is also on record to have hosted the boat sport carnival, which held last year, and we will soon be looking forward to expanding on this potential in the area of other sports.
“The mountain hiking, high altitude sport and other such exotic sports that fall within the sport tourism sector are gaining relevance by the day. Furthermore, we are providing a conducive environment for the promotion of tourism as can be seen in our concerted effort at developing tourist sites within the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon Yakubu Dati has advocated for the inclusion of Plateau Tourism sites to be parts of national and international hubs, destination for its diverse cultural potential to boost the revenue generation in the country.
Datti made the call while speaking to journalists shortly after the declaration of AGM. He said the choice of Plateau State, as host for the NATOP 2018 AGM is to make the state tourism hub of the nation and to promote the diverse cultural display of people socio-political cooperation in the country and employment to the youth.
According to him, the meeting, which had attracted wide range stakeholders in tourist trade, is part of government efforts at promoting destinations within the states by partnering with the private sectors to encourage participation. He urged delegates from around the states to provide unique opportunity for global visibility for Plateau as a key player in tourism development potential.
He commended the tour agents, NATOP for deeming it necessary to make Plateau state choice of innovative ideas, strategic thinking and efforts to increase the credibility and visibility of the city in world map of tourism’s development.
Affirming the State government’s preparedness to partner with investors for the growth of the tourism sector in the region, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Tamwakat Weli, said despite the negative impression and utterances being peddled, the NATOP 2018 AGM is an attestation of the peaceful nature of Jos, adding that the people are also receptive and warm to visitors.
Weli noted that Plateau State is known as the home of peace and tourism in Nigeria because it is second to none in terms of God given natural endowments and attractions for tourism.
“This administration is serious on the development of tourism in the state and that is why there is massive investment on road network infrastructure. Additionally, the administration has put in place both institutional and organisational frameworks to engender and encourage public private partnership in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“Recently the state signed M.o.U for long term leases of Jos Hotel with private sector investors. We are currently in discussion with other private sector investor wishing to lease other government owned hotels and tourist attractions in the state. Plateau state is ready and open for serious tourist investment and patronage,” she said.