Following a fruitful engagement of tourism experts and stakeholders in an attempt to channeling a pro-active path for tourism advancement by the Ministy of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lagos State, the summit has led to a positive outcome in which participants issued a communique that centred around identifying the best practices to be adopted for the best service delivery of tourism business and the related in Lagos State.

The 2-day summit that took place between 15th-16th June, 2021 in Lagos had major tourism enthusiasts in attendance and they deliberated in unison for a common goal of achieving greater tourism achievement in Lagos State .

Excerpts:

THE COMMUNIQUE:

Participants included the Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Commissioner, Special Adviser, Permanent Secretary, Senior Special Assistant to Mr. Governor as well as Management Staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter (FTAN) Hotel Owners & Managers Association of Lagos, (HOMAL) Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Lagos State Boat Operators, Beach Resort & leisure Owners and Tourism Practitioners.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Working Summit witnessed the presentation of two very thought – provoking and impressive presentations from;
(a) Amb. Ikechi Uko, Organiser Akwaaba Africa Travel Market on The best of Lagos;
(b) Dr. Adun Okupe, Tourism Consultant, Red Clay Tourism Advisory and Faculty, Strategy Lagos Business School on Harnessing the transformative potential of sustainable tourism.

RESOLUTIONS:
• 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 Scale them up. 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.in order 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, Identify the Demographics that are 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 deepening of Partnership 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 the tourism sub sector to achieve a robust tourism destination for ultimate tourist experience.

By Kazeem Balogun

Kazeem Balogun is the Managing Editor of Kalo Africa News.

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