By Joy Enamuna
Lagos State Government says it will be presenting a tourism master plan and policy on July 1st to boost tourism potentials and economy of the state.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, made this known at a stakeholders forum organised by the Ministry on Wednesday at Ikeja, Lagos.
The forum had the theme: “Promoting Domestic Tourism Post COVID-19.”
According to Akinbile-Yusuf, the master plan was necessary in order to boost domestic tourism in the state thereby generating more revenue, harness potentials in the sector and as well sell the “Best of Lagos” to the people.
“Our conviction is drawn from the belief that this sector can thrive better if stakeholders are allowed to play their roles while government provides the enabling environment by maintaining the needed synergy with all individuals within the value chain.
“It is also important to carry our stakeholders along in all our programmes, plans and policies to make the implementations easier and accepted by all the concerned practitioners, “she said.
The commissioner re-emphasised the resolve to direct attention to the development of domestic tourism as a way of making tourism sites attractive to both local and international tourists.
She added that part of their strategies was to take a cue from the perspective of the Federal Government through the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).
“We will also be assigning Tourism Desk Officers to some local government areas in the state as a pilot scheme in our CBT efforts.
“These desk officers will serve as liaising officers between the community and the Ministry and assist in the discovery and documentation of indigenous tourism sites in these local government areas, “she said
Earlier, Prince Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had become more compelling for stakeholders in the tourism sector to design modern strategies that would be in sync with current realities.
Adedoyin-Ajayi said that the forum was conceived as a way of engaging tourism enthusiasts and promoters for the development and ratification of tourism plans and policies, putting into consideration both perspectives.
The permanent secretary said the state government, since the outbreak of the pandemic, offered some sort of succour to the practitioners.
She assured that the Ministry would not rest on these past efforts.
“We are very concerned about engaging our stakeholders further on what we have done in the past and how we can jointly do things even better as we move forward into the future.”
Mr Fatai Oluwa, House Committee Chairman on Tourism, Arts and Culture, assured of the Assembly’s continued support to provide enabling legislation to promote the sector.
“We will provide direct support to the hard-hit tourism and travel industry, promote economic recovery and help increase public confidence as these industries look to reopen safely in the future.
“The committee will continue to advocate for policies to ensure our travel destinations and attraction centres make it through the effect of the pandemic and are ready to welcome visitors back as quickly and safely as possible.
Dr Adun Okupe, of Red Clay Tourism Advisory and Faculty, Strategy Lagos Business School, spoke on the topic “Tourism Master Plan and Policy.”
Okupe, also a Tourism Consultant, said there was need for a review of the master plan for tourism which was first developed between 2018-2019.
“We are looking at creating opportunities within the sector and tourism development that can lead directly to economic growth, socio cultural and environmental development.”
She said that the master plan focused on sustainability, adding that the domestic tourism is the way forward.