The 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 to make the sector more attractive to tourists and project Lagos as the hub of tourism in Africa.
The State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, disclosed that the development was part of the decisions contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the two-day tourism summit organised by the Ministry at Dover Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
She maintained that the tourism sector requires collective investment efforts from both the government and stakeholders, affirming that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration is ready to develop the sector.
Her words: “We are ready to develop tourism and make Lagos a destination for investment. But the government cannot do it alone; I, therefore, urged you as 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 five 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 as stakeholders to work as a team and partner with the government. Work with us to develop the sector, let us have one big event that we will do collectively to further enhance Tourism in Lagos State”, the Commissioner stated.
She urged the tourism stakeholders to make their sites attractive to tourists, noting that the use of tourism ambassadors is one of the ways to package the tourism sector in the State, advising participants to ensure the implementation of all the resolutions agreed upon at the summit.
“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 of the Ministry, 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.
She said that tourism desks would be created in all our local council areas to make it 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 towards developing domestic tourism.
According to her, it was also agreed that the summit should hold quarterly in the five divisions of the State, considering the fact that it has proven to be a platform for cross-fertilisation of ideas and the development of Lagos State’s position on tourism growth and development.
Adedoyin-Ajayi said the participants also established that in view of the crucial roles and contributions of Lagos State tourism as the third most visited tourist city in Africa, it is essential for all stakeholders to collaborate in order to make Lagos a choice destination for tourists.
“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”, she added.
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”.