In a bid to promote the sustainable development of tourism, art and culture, the Lagos state Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture organised a 2-day working Summit in line with the THEME agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration..
The Working Summit which held on 15 and 16 June 2021, witnessed participants from public and private sectors of the tourism industry. Participants at the summit include: Hon. Comm. of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf; S.A. to the Governor on Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu; the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon Olatunji Oluwa; Permanent Secretary, Min. of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi; and other principal staff of the ministry.
Other participants from across the tourism industry are: Nigerian Association of Tour Operators, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter (FTAN), Hotel Owners & Managers Association of Lagos, (HOMAL) Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Boat Operators, Beach Resort & leisure Owners and other Tourism Practitioners.
The event, which was anchored by the affable Amb. Nneka Isaac-Moses, co-host of the multiple-award-winning travel and tourism brand, Goge Africa; was a veritable platform for tourism stakeholders to identify, deliberate and suggest opportunities available for diversification of tourism experiences in Lagos state.
Speaking on “Harnessing the transformative potential of sustainable tourism”, Dr. Adun Okupe of Red Clay Tourism Advisory identified key factors, necessary for harnessing the tourism potentials of Lagos State. These factors, she noted include: cultural patterns of the state (host culture and sub-culture), strategic positioning, education of service providers on quality service delivery, and the use of information in promotion and marketing of tourism destinations.
In his submission on “the Best of Lagos”, the second discussant, Amb. Ikechi Uko, a tourism consultant hinted at ways of exploiting tourism across the five divisions of Lagos state, popularly known as IBILE. According to him, promotion and review of tourism experience, creative tour packaging of lifestyle events (e.g. the government-driven detty December, molue ride experience) and the creation of tourism clusters, would improve tourism in Lagos state.
Other stakeholders who attended the event and contributed their thoughts to the conversation are as follows: CEO of Goge Africa Worldwide, Amb. Isaac Moses; G.M of Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos Zonal coordinator, NTDC Mr. Rotimi Aiyetan; CEO, Tarzan Jetty, Mr. Tarzan Balogun; CEO of Jara Resort, Mr. Mark Slade; Mr. Opeyemi Owoeye of Epe Resort and Spa; Vice President, NATOP, Lady Ime Udo; Michael Balogun of Tour to Nigeria; CEO, AnagoOsho Adventure, Anago Osho; Kenny Saint Brown, and a host of others.
At the end of the 2-Days, a communique was prepared and presented with the following resolution:
- Efforts should be geared towards fine-tuning our strategy 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;
- Strengthening and improving on innovation by offering authentic, affordable experiences also having packages that meet the needs of potential local travellers will play a pivotal role in achieving our intention to reposition tourism activities in the State;
- To Create tourism desks 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;
- The Summit should hold quarterly in the Five Divisions of the State, driven by Stakeholders because it has proved to be a veritable platform for cross fertilization of ideas and the development of Lagos State’s position on Tourism growth and development;
- In view of the crucial role 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;
- The State Government’s focus on Tourism Infrastructure will be the quickest way to enhance the development and sustainability of Domestic Tourism;
- Reinforce what Lagosians already see and package them eg. entertainment, weddings, owambe of all Kinds, night outs, beach activities and religious holiday activities to mention but a few:
- 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;
- In an attempt to convert 20million Lagosians into Tourists, we need to draw a new picture, open new vistas and reintroduce Lagosians to the real Lagos in order to change the narrative and retell the story of Lagos;
- Take advantage of 20million prospects to boost Lagos economy thus making Tourism one of the major contributor to the revenue generation and GDP growth;
- Explore Eco-lodges, Luxury Beach Resorts, Watersports activities to enhance domestic tourism in all the Divisions;
- Make conscious and deliberate efforts to grow clusters in Lagos, while identifying the demographics suitable for each cluster. Package daycations and staycations for each cluster and market to all the 20 Million People of Lagos;
- Make Lagos attractive for investment and connect with long term capital for long term investment needs;
- All Stakeholders should start working with schools, universities, organizations and also ensure that our deliveries present rich storylines that connect us with Lagos, its history, its potentials and how we fit into all of this. It is time for more harmonisation and strengthening of relationships;
- Stakeholders should focus on the budget/economy and mid -scale segments – pricing as a key issue;
- Stakeholders should leverage on the strong educational opportunity embedded within tourism in order to expand our horizons and enhance our quality of life from the supply side of the industry;
- Spend more on harmonizing all tourism sub sector to achieve a robust tourism destination for ultimate tourist experience.
The Honourable Commissioner in her closing remarks encouraged collaboration among practitioners in the tourism industry and promised to support the practitioners in driving sustainable development in Lagos state. “We are fully prepared like never before in Lagos state to make Tourism Investment and to make Lagos a destination for tourism”, she affirmed.