Grand Bassam Mayor visits La Campagne, signs tourism development deal
The Mayor of Grand Bassam, Cote D’ Ivoire, Mayor Jean Louis Moulot, who is also the director general of all the airports in his country has signed a strategic partnership pact with the founder of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in Ikegun Village, Ibeju Lekki Local Council of Lagos State, Otunba Wanle Akinbooye.
The Mayor who was visiting Nigeria and also the resort for the first time did so in company of his ambassador to Nigeria, Traore Kalilou and other officials in order to hold strategic discussion with Akinboboye and see how his expertise in tourism can be explored to develop the vast tourism potentials of Grand Bassam by turning it many tourist attractions to tourist destinations as La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort.
La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort has over the years, earned a reputation as the best African themed resort where nature and man co-existence in peace and harmony, amidst sophisticated facilities exuding opulence and enchanting blend of Africa cultural elements.
The reputation of Akinbooye, as a passionate entrepreneur, investor and tourist destination developer, has preceded him far and wide, with tourists, investors, governments and others across the globe not only visiting the resort to feast on his unique offerings, but also to seek for his partnership in extending his creative ferment to their climes.
The most recent in the impressive roll call of people seeking a replication of his expertise in their climes, is the visit of Mayor Moulot. This, no doubt, is a great feat by the Mayor and a show of the commitment of using tourism as both economic and development tool for the advancement of his city and his people. It is also a way of boosting the offerings of the country as the leading Francophone destination and economy in the region and a look in as one of serious minded tourism cities in Africa.
However, Nigeria is expected to learn from the action of the Mayor of Grand Bassam, who has to come all the way to Nigeria to seek partnership and help in developing his city’s tourist attractions into viable tourist destinations.
One sector that has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 since its outbreak in December 2019 is the tourism sector, with global destinations shutdown and businesses at standstill.
Nigerians are noted for their penchant for international travels but since the outbreak of COVID -19 that has drastically reduced.
The National Association for Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) greatly lamented this development in a recent figure showing a drastic drop in sales of tickets released by it. According to it, ticket sales for international travellers in Nigeria recorded about 31.4 per cent slump in 2019, compared to 2018 estimates. N360 billion was recorded as total sales figure for 2019; a N165 billion difference when compared to N525 billion recorded in previous year.
While many are lamenting this development, however, Akinbobye is of the opinion that time has come for Nigeria to ‘take advantage of its advantage’ by latching on the negative effect of the pandemic to turn attention to developing domestic tourism, noting that Nigeria can make double of what its nationals spend on tickets alone in international travel on the domestic scene.
He said: ‘‘The lack of distractions in Africa’s tourism sector presently due to the advent of COVID -19 will definitely boost domestic and national tourism within the continent of Africa based on the challenges associated presently with international travels.”
On the partnership deal struck with Grand Bassam, he discloses that: ‘‘Forward looking, proactive leaders like the Cote d’ Ivoire Ambassador to Nigeria and the Mayor of Grand Bassam, will be the ones to reap the humongous benefits of this particular opportunity. With Mayor Jean Louis Moulot’s visit to the resort, Cote d’ Ivoire is showing the way forward for Africa’s collaboration and development. If the public sector leaders can take a cue from this, tourism will begin to grow in Nigeria.”