The Executive Chairman, Epe Local Government, Hon. (Princess) Surah Olayemi Animashaun joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Tourism Day with pomp and pageantry.

The purpose of the event which is annually celebrated on the 27th of September, is to raise awareness on the importance of tourism and its socio-political, cultural and economic value within international communities.

In her welcome address, the Executive Chairman acknowledged the significance of this year’s edition being observed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic:

“As we gradually ease out of the restrictions and containment measures of the Covid19 pandemic, it is important to have conversations around the diversification of the economy, shifting from total reliance on the oil sector and identifying other more inclusive non-oil sectors that can be equally beneficial to the Nigerian economy and its people.”

Buttressing the motive of this year’s theme tagged “Tourism for Inclusive Growth’, Hon. (Princess) Surah O. Animashaun went on to say:

“Our country is blessed with rich tourist attractions and if properly harnessed, will not only impact positively on the IGR of the nation by increasing international and local trade within different sectors but will also create employment opportunities for a cross-section of people in various areas of specializations.”

“Currently, tourism stands as one of the biggest drivers for economic development and growth, accounting for 10.4 percent of the world’s GDP. Being one of the fastest growing industries, nations all over the world are increasing their investment in tourism development and leveraging heavily on their cultural exports to promote their destinations and kickstart their economy. Epe must not be left behind.”

Against this backdrop, community and industry stakeholders as well as potential investors were present for the unveiling of the new visual identity for Epe Tourism as well as the official launch of the waterfront hangout facilities at the Epe Marina.

The L.G Boss expressed her plans to take on and execute various urban development initiatives that will not only reposition the region to attract more tourists but also a good number of investment opportunities that will benefit all.

Amongst other activities, the event featured a boat regatta to celebrate the aquatic splendor of Epe town, recognised as the Fish Basket of Lagos. This was followed shortly with colourful performances by the cultural troupes in the Epe community as well as Aziza Cultural Troupe from Ajido kingdom in Badagry Local Government Area alongside visiting groups from nearby communities and Badagry showcasing their local crafts and heritage.

In her speech, she further stated:

“When tourism development is done right, it can foster the growth of productive opportunities for income generation and provide equal access to these opportunities for all our people. Everyone, from the tour guides to the artisans and fishermen, the investors to the farmers and petty traders will benefit from it.

Hon. (Princess) Surah O. Animashaun gave the assurance that her administration will strive to create a tourism ecosystem that is inclusive; where every single individual plays a part in promoting its potentials and also benefits from the income generation in equal measures.

By Kazeem Balogun

Kazeem Balogun is the Managing Editor of Kalo Africa News.

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