Father of Tourism in Nigeria, Chief Mike Amachree, has called on governments at all levels in the country to develop tourist sites in their area.
Amachree said this will help stem the tide of capital flight through Nigerians travelling out of the country for leisure and relaxation. He said it will also help boost the local economy of communities where these sites are located.
Amachree spoke when Hon. Ken Chikere, member, Federal House of Representatives representing Port Harcourt 2 Federal Constituency, paid him a courtesy visit at his Niger Delta Garden, Maraba, Nassarawa State.
He commended the lawmaker for finding time to visit the tourist site and explained that as Father of Tourism in Nigeria, he would wish that tourism would be more developed than its current state in the country.
Speaking further, the tourist guru and former president, Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN), informed the lawmaker that Nasarawa State where the Niger Delta Garden is situated was once a part of Plateau State where tourism promotion started in Nigeria.
He noted that the former governor of the state, Alhaji Akwe Doma, was one of the founding fathers of ATPN and Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN).
He said practitioners were making plans to visit the current governor of the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, in Lafia to brief him on how to make Nasarawa State one of the leading tourist destinations in Nigeria.
He also eulogised Hon. Chikere for being part of his success story in tourism. He said Chikere was there when the Port Harcourt Tourist Beach Resort was opened.
Earlier, Hon. Chikere had praised Amachree for his undying interest in the promotion and development of tourism in Nigeria. Chikere, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State, was full of praises for what Amachree has accomplished in the tourism industry.
He commended Amachree for establishing the Brooklyn Hotels in Lagos, Okoloma Afam and Buguma; Port Harcourt Tourist Beach Resort; Niger Delta Garden, Maraba, Nasarawa State, and also the Brooklyn Tourist Centre and Zoological Garden and Museum, Rumuosi, near University of Port Harcourt.
He also commended Amachree for his contribution as a member of the Vision 2010 Committee during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha, which was where the seed for the creation of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism was sown.
Chikere noted that Amachree, in a show of patriotism, named key areas of his facilities in the Niger Delta Garden after cities in Rivers sate and Nigeria.