Nigeria’s Father of Tourism, Chief Mike Amachree has called on the Lagos State government to empower the private sector tourism industry practitioners in the state. He made this called at the just concluded 2018 Akwaaba West African Travel Market recently held at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Amachree, who was one of the guests during the exciting Lagos Day at the fair, commended the state for its vision and efforts to make tourism a key sector in the state’s economy . He said: “I wish to commend the government of Lagos for its strategic focus on tourism. I think it is a step in the right direction. The tourism vision of Lagos is such that if effectively implemented, it would transform the state into one of the leading destinations in Africa. Lagos is so blessed in the area of heritage and eco-tourism. The state has close to 200 kilometers of white sandy beach front. This is a major tourism asset. The state is also the entertainment capital of Africa being the birth place of Nollywood and it is also home to the some of the biggest music names in Africa. All these could be harnessed to boost the tourism reception in the state.
“Having said that, it is important that the state empowers the private sector to come up with tourism products that would bring Africa and the rest of the world to Lagos. The duty of the government is to create the enabling environment for tourism to thrive; however, it is equally important that the private sector tourism investors are encouraged to key into this vision of the state government. It is only then that meaningful progress could be made.”
Amachree also used to the opportunity to commend the organizers of the Akwaaba Travel Market. He sees the fair as a positive for Africa as it helps to bring people from within and outside the continent to Nigeria. In addition he said the fair offers opportunity for African countries to cooperate and synergize in other to develop tourism in their different countries. He said through the fair, many African destinations are seeing the need to cooperate rather engage in unhealthy cooperation that those benefit these countries.
Among those present at Lagos Day were the Director General National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe; Lagos Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Anambra State Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo; the First Deputy President, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, and many other guests.