The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day with a symposium tagged: “Rethinking Tourism through Host Communities”.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said that the theme for 2022 World Tourism Day, offers the Ministry the opportunity to consolidate its efforts in the implementation of the State’s Tourism Master Plan.
“This theme speaks to the Community-Based Tourism initiative already introduced by the Ministry since last year. This indicates that the Ministry is forward-thinking to have considered exploring the potentials in community-based tourism”.
The Commissioner averred that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is committed to the sustainable development of tourism and its allied industries in the State, saying that this necessitated the decision of the Ministry to ensure the early commencement of the implementation of the Tourism Master Plan.
Akinbile-Yussuf posited that among several other reasons, Community-Based Tourism is intended to provide opportunities for employment, revenue generation, local earnings from goods and services and restricting the funds that leave the local communities in addition to helping tourism activities.
She urged the six pilot Local Government Areas captured in the community-based tourism initiative to take ownership of the various tourism assets in their domains and look inwards to draw up their programmes that will be community-based.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Femi Martins, said that in line with the World Tourism Organisation the best time for all stakeholders to rethink tourism by recognising it as a crucial pillar of development is now.
He maintained that tourism thrives better if members of the local Community take ownership of Tourism assets in their domains, just as he called on tourism enthusiasts across the State to be deliberate in the promotion of domestic tourism.
Mr. Rotimi Aiyetan, who delivered the goodwill message of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), said that World Tourism Day has always been a time to come together and celebrate the significance of Tourism.
He said in 2022, we want to recognise the opportunities that tourists bring and continue to bring, however, we must also recognise that we cannot go back to the old ways of working and must begin to rethink tourism.
The event also had a paper presentation by Hon. Seyi Jakande and a panel discussion on the topic: ‘Rethinking Tourism’.
Notable Speakers at the event include two past Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry, Mr. Adewale Ashimi and Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi; Hon. Adeniyi Saliu, Hon. Samson Apata, Mr. Rotimi Ayetan and the Director/Head, Community-Based Tourism in the Ministry, Mr. Frank Legusen.