An initiative that would further unravel tourism potentials in different Local Government Areas across the state, tagged Community-Based Tourism (CBT), has been unveiled by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who made this disclosure at a sensitization programme for staff, including cultural officers from the State Council for Arts and Culture as well as the Film and Video Censors Board, said six communities have been identified in the first phase of the implementation of the Community-Based Tourism idea.
Akinbile-Yussuf listed the pilot LGAs as Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu, Oshodi /Isolo, Eti Osa, and Surulere, adding that the establishment of the Community-Based Tourism Unit under the Research and Development Department of the Ministry, was in line with the State’s Tourism Masterplan and Policy.
She added that the Ministry has been directing its programmes and policies in line with the Master Plan and Policy, being the approved guiding documents for the activities of the Ministry in the next couple of years.
The commissioner further assured officials, who would be implementing the Masterplan at the community level under the Community-Based Tourism, of adequate support in terms of all necessary logistics that would enhance the delivery of their assigned responsibilities.
Akinbile-Yussuf stated that the decision to commence the CBT at this period was to enable exploration, access, and development of tourism potentials such as unique cultural practices, traditions, and heritage within the local Community.
She said, “We want to initiate an agenda for the development and growth of domestic tourism, promote and market tourism internationally as contained in the Ministry’s Masterplan and Policy.”
In his address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, said that the Ministry will provide necessary work tools and incentives that would aid the effective discharge of duties by officers in the various communities.
He encouraged the staffers to discharge their duties diligently and effectively so that the initiative can be cascaded to more local government areas and also encourage the state government to invest more in CBT.
The Permanent Secretary, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, informed that the Ministry expects the officers manning the CBT to come up with innovative ideas that will promote the development of Domestic Tourism in a bid to enhance local tourism.
According to her, the Ministry’s officials at the community level are to coordinate, liaise, raise public awareness, and undertake activities that will encourage cultural heritage resuscitation and preservation, while also promoting tourism marketing via promotional campaigns, sponsorship, and facilitating cultural and traditional events.
She also encouraged staff to identify and coordinate the activities of people who are into indigenous technology such as carving, sculpting, weaving, and craft, painting, local textile, etc.
Also speaking at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Seymour, commended the move and described it as complementary to the efforts made by his Office and the Research and Development Department of the Ministry earlier in the year, when he led some government officials on a visit to assess the state of some tourism assets in different parts of Lagos.
Seymour added that the establishment of the CBT Unit would further help fast-track the restoration of some cultural values that are gradually going into extinction in different communities in Lagos State.
The new CBT Unit of the Ministry would be under the supervision of the Director of Research and Development of the Ministry, Mrs. Yetunde Simpson.