In pursuance of its commitment to cause a major shift in marketing the tourism and creative potential inherent across the State, the Lagos State Government is set to hold a tourism summit to enrich the masterplan being prepared for the tourism industry in the state.
The summit with the theme “Destination Lagos: Towards A Sustainable Tourism-Driven Economy” is scheduled to hold on Monday 16th April, 2018 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Briefing the media on Tuesday April 10 at Alausa Secretariat, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, declared that the forthcoming summit is designed to provide useful content for the tourism road map that is poised to transform the vision of the State in becoming one of the foremost tourism destinations in Africa.
The Commissioner disclosed that the summit aligns with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s desire to invest in human capital and infrastructure in order to encourage creativity and promotion of great minds in arts, entertainment, culture and tourism in the State.
While briefing the media on the relevance of the summit, Ayorinde revealed that the summit is crucial to intimate key players in the tourism industry to the achievements of the past three years and engage them in highlighting the specific steps to take in developing the Tourism further in the next two decades.
‘’The summit will list out in specific terms the interventions that are needed in producing a masterplan that will assist in shaping the tourism sector in Lagos State in the next 15 to 20 years,’’ the Commissioner stated.
He added that the commitment if the Lagos State Government to tourism and cultural promotion had been a deliberate plan derived from a visionary study of the population trend and analysis of what sector would better absorb the teeming youth population, reduce poverty and crime as well as create jobs with multiplier effects on other sectors.
Affirming the significance of the Summit, the Commissioner stated that encouraging existing practitioners and stakeholders with institutional support and sustaining hope of investors in the sector would require a more strategic and proactive approach, hence the need to invite all critical stakeholders under one roof to deliberate on the common goal of raising the bar of Tourism promotion in Lagos State.
‘’The idea of this Lagos Tourism Summit, therefore, is part of our inclusive agenda to allow all stakeholders contribute to the ongoing tourism masterplan being put together by Messrs Earnst and Young on behalf of the Lagos State Government.”
He further disclosed that the summit will be enriched by paper presentations by renowned stakeholders in the tourism business; panel discussions and a Keynote Address to be delivered by His Excellency, Mr. John Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana.
“The gathering will provide a rare opportunity to engage with stakeholders, professionals, leading academics and scholars, researchers in the tourism, culture, arts and entertainment industry, local and foreign media practitioners to debate, exchange ideas, deliberate and chart a way forward for Lagos tourism”, he added.
Aside the main theme for discourse at the summit, other topics listed include: Exploring the Lagos Tourism Eco-system for Economic and Social Benefits; Financing tourism: the path and possibilities for Lagos State, and M.I.C.E, Creative Content as Tourism Industry panacea.
Prof. Ibukunoluwa Ayodele of the University of Ibadan will deliver the Lead Paper; The Minister for Information, Tourism and Culture will speak about Tourism as the new oil while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is the Chief Host.
Also speaking at the briefing, a representative of Ernst Young, Adewale Adereti, stated that the strategic intention of developing and transforming tourism, culture and entertainment in the state requires input from relevant stakeholders and as such a summit is critical to fully explore the possibilities that the sector offers so that the Masterplan that will be produced will reflect the need of the industry.
Adewale said as a visionary and committed leader, Governor Ambode is developing a robust tourism industry that will outlive the current administration and place the city on the map as a preferred destination.
By Lucky Onoriode George [Lagos]