Edo govt, stakeholders synergise to boost tourism receipts
The Edo State Government and stakeholders in the state’s tourism sector have identified new channels and offerings to attract more tourists to the state, as part of strategies to expand the portfolio of its assets in the arts, culture and tourism sector to grow inbound tourist traffic.
This was the outcome of a parley organised by the Ministry of Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, to mark the 2019 World Toursim Day in Benin City, the state capital.
At the event held at the Ogba Zoological Garden in Benin City, the stakeholders said the new offerings would include siting of clean markets for tourists, inclusion of tourism studies in school curricula, re-engineering of monuments to their original specification and promotion of community tourism.
The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Dorcas Idehen, said the state government is reviving tourism sites in the state to provide means of livelihood for youths and women and also boost economic diversification.
He urged youths to take advantage of reforms in the tourism industry to make money for themselves and their households.
The Commissioner stressed the need for preservation of the Edo’s culture; its language, food and history through which more tourists can be attracted to the state.
He assured that adequate preparation is being put in place ahead of the hosting of the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), during which jobs will be created and boost the state’s tourism potentials.
The Managing Director, Ogba Zoological Garden, Andy Ehanire, said tourism remains a veritable means of boosting job creation in Edo state, especially with the state’s rich cultural heritage, sites and monuments.
Ehanire highlighted factors that would improve tourism development in the state to include siting of clean markets for tourists; inclusion of tourism studies in school curricula, and re-engineering of monuments to their original specification and promotion of community tourism.
He noted that tourism offers a lot of opportunity for youths to be meaningfully engaged as tour guides, travel agents, tour operators, among others.