Mr Ademola Ige, Special Adviser on Tourism to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has reassured of the state’s determination to partner with the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), for tourism promotion.
Ige in a statement on Sunday said that this was necessary to actualise the tourism agenda of the Makinde administration of the state.
The Special Adviser gave the assurance on Friday in Oyo State when FTAN delegates paid him a courtesy visit.
He said the visit was an effective mechanism to make the state’s tourism alliance bring rapid results.
He noted that the visit was indeed timely as it came when the state was preparing for the 2022 World Tourism Day celebration slated for Sept. 27.
”The World Tourism Day is a special day set aside by the state to celebrate and promote the rich tourism potentialities Oyo state is blessed with.
”Since the inception of our world tourism day celebration, we have been making it a point of duty to carry the private sector along, especially the members of FTAN, with tourism promotion as our main mission and focus,” he said.
Ige noted that the state had huge tourism resources capable of boosting its economy if more was invested in the area of private and strategic collaborations.
Mr Tunde Kolade, FTAN South-West Coordinator, emphasised the need for a stand-alone state culture and tourism ministry to give the industry a pragmatic voice.
Kolade said this was the only way for tourism to have structural and visible attention to effectively make a difference in the state economy.
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”It is true that we must separate culture and tourism from the ministry of Information, to make it a full-fledged ministry so that it can take care of its core and allied tourism sectors with all other value chains of the industry getting the right attention.
”We know tourism in some states has a separate ministry and things are working well for them but that has not been operational here in Oyo State.
”But you know there must be legislation to make that a reality and I think the house of assembly has that jurisdiction; we will work towards that.
”They have to visit the laws establishing that sector and make amend to include advocacy for a stand-alone ministry for culture and tourism in the state,” he said.
Earlier, Oyo State Co-ordinator for FTAN, Mr Wale Olapade, highlighted the need for a public and private sector alliance to effectively promote and strategically position the state as the pacesetter in tourism potentialities.
Olapade also stressed the need to create avenues for mutual benefit for the federation and Oyo State Government.
He said there was more to collaborations than just the initial statement, urging the state to see FTAN as a partner in progress.
He explained that this should be done with the agenda to give tourism its rightful place as a money spinner and job creation avenue that would boost the economic bid of Governor Makinde.
He noted that Oyo state’s Ado Awaye suspended lake which had been tagged as second in the world, was the only natural site of such in the world.
He said the western stereotype of naming a man-made suspended lake in Colorado, USA as the first was a wrong narrative.
He, however, called on Oyo state to endeavour to take its rightful place by telling its story itself.
”Our story is better told by us because it is our abode and it is not foreign to us so why should others rank us second when naturally we are first and the record is there for everyone to see,” he said.