Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and key stakeholders in the sector, have restated their determination to support all registered tourism facilities and practitioners in the State as a way of making the sector more attractive to tourists and projecting Lagos State as the hub of tourism in Africa.
This was part of the decisions reached at the end of the 2-day Tourism Working Summit recently organised by the Ministry at Dover Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who gave the closing Remarks at the Summit before the presentation of the Communique, said that the tourism sector requires collective investment efforts from both the government and the stakeholders, affirming that the Lagos State government is ready to develop the sector.
Her words, “We are ready to develop tourism and make Lagos a destination for investment. Government cannot do it alone; I therefore urge you stakeholders in the tourism sector to contribute your own quota to the development of the sector. If the private sector stands up with us, I can assure you that in another 5 years, we will get to where we need to be.
“Market Lagos for the world to see what we have and what we are doing. It is time for you stakeholders to work as a team and partner together with the government. Work with us to develop the sector, let us have one big event that we will be doing collectively that will further enhance Tourism in Lagos State, ” the Commissioner pleaded.
She urged the tourism Stakeholders to make their tourism sites attractive to tourists, noting that the use or tourism ambassadors are one of the ways to package the tourism sector in the State.
“In Lagos State, we have several tourism sites including, hospitality, education, sport, short-let, beach, culture, festival, heritage, arts, entertainment and Afro beat as tourism product. If we have tourism ambassador in each division of the state, it will go a long way to develop the sector. We can have the already known artists as tourist ambassadors.”
Akinbile-Yussuf, advised participants at the Summit to ensure the implementation of all the resolutions agreed upon at the Summit as it concerns them, stressing that, “This summit is not just a summit like every other; I can assure you that all that we have discussed will be activated and you will see results,” She said.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, while presenting the communiqué issued at the end of the Summit, said the state government will implement all that is stated in the communiqué and urged the stakeholders to ensure same.
According to her, it was resolved that efforts should be geared towards fine-tuning strategies that will showcase and sell “The Best of Lagos” to potential tourists who are desirous of finding the best experience of entertainment, fun and relaxation and value for their money in addition to having packages that meet the needs of potential local travellers.
It was also resolved that tourism desks would be created in all our local council areas where it will be easier for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to take the inventory of the various tourism sites in these localities and put in place necessary plans and provisions for them towards developing domestic tourism.
Additionally, it was agreed that the Summit should hold quarterly in the Five Divisions of the State, considering the fact that the Summit has proven to be a veritable platform for cross fertilization of ideas and the development of Lagos State’s position on Tourism growth and development.
It was also contained in the Communique that “In view of the crucial roles and contributions of Lagos State Tourism as the 3rd most visited tourism City in Africa, it is essential for all the Tourism Stakeholders to collaborate with the Ministry in order to make Lagos a choice destination for tourists;
Explore Community Based Tourism by focusing on our Culture, Festivals, Heritage and further explore tourism sites to attract more tourist.
“To achieve this, the State Government’s focus on Tourism Infrastructure will be the quickest way to enhance the development and sustainability of Domestic Tourism; the focus on domestic tourism should expand the leisure economy, recognising that residents within the state also require leisure activities which in turn can then be made available to visitors and tourists visiting Lagos State. ”
Participants at the Summit, included the Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Fatai Oluwa, Hon. Commissioner, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Special Adviser, Mr. Solomon Bonu, the Permanent Secretary, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, Senior Special Assistant to Mr. Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Saymour as well as Management Staff of the Ministry.
Other participants are: Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter (FTAN), Hotel Owners & Managers Association of Lagos, (HOMAL), Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Lagos State Boat Operators, Beach Resort & Leisure Owners and Tourism Practitioners.
The Summit witnessed the presentation of two very thought provoking and impressive presentations from; Ambassador Ikechi Uko, Organiser Akwaaba Africa Travel Market on ” The best of Lagos” and Dr. Adun Okupe, Tourism Consultant, Red Clay Tourism Advisory and Faculty, Strategy Lagos Business School on “Harnessing the transformative potential of sustainable tourism.”