As the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture joins the world to celebrate the year 2020 World Tourism Day, the State Government and key stakeholders in the tourism industry have agreed on a community-based initiative that will further develop tourism potentials across the State.
At the virtual and physical versions of the event, participants acknowledged the effect of COVID-19 on the sector and stressed the need to use the opportunity, which had restricted travelling abroad, to attract local tourism to the State.
Speaking at the occasion, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf pointed out that the State is blessed with numerous untapped resources in the Agriculture value chain which, if well harnessed, will boost the economy, increase internally generated revenue and create job opportunities.
According to her, tourism attractions across the State would now have a market situated in each of the centres, such that when tourists visit the sites they could buy items that further project Lagos across the globe.
The Commissioner stated that plans are already being perfected to further leverage on the copious natural resource endowments of the State to develop the sector and attract both local and foreign tourists.
Akinbile-Yusuf said the Ministry is in the process of registering all the hospitality establishments and also classifying them to ensure that the various outlets in the State are clearly delineated.
“We are trying to document all the tourist attraction sites in Lagos and I can tell you in another one or two months, we are going to have that presentation and no sites in Lagos State will be left out so that everyone can be informed about these locations online. That is one of the ways we are trying to domesticate tourism in Lagos State”, she explained.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, called for greater attention to tourist sites in Badagry, stressing that the ancient town is very significant in the history of the country’s tourism.
He said that Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has identified the need to focus on developing rural areas in the State as a way of making every community viable while reducing rural-urban migration.
The Oniru of Iru Land, His Royal Majesty, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, in his goodwill message at the event, commended the initiative of the State Ministry of Tourism to enhance focus on developing tourism sites across the State, advocating for the protection and projection of the tourist sites and calling for due recognition of August 21st every year as Isese Day.
The Monarch also asked the State government to consider the traditional institution as major stakeholders in the tourism space and accord them deserved respect.
Speaking on the ‘Journey So Far’ by Lagos State Government in the area of tourism, a former Commissioner in the State who was also one of the panelists at the event, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, attributed the feat attained by the State Government in the area of tourism to institutional support from successive administrations in Lagos.
He said that Lagos State had also made deliberate efforts to project its brand to the international community, through constant participation in global events as a strategy of marketing its rich tourism potentials to the outside world.
The celebration with the theme, “Tourism and Rural Development”, witnessed contributions and participation from tourists across all the five divisions of Lagos, who connected via Zoom to share their thoughts on how local tourism potentials could be enhanced.