FTAN’s WTD 2022 outing, a bold step for waters tourism business
FG urged to rethink investment, funding, tourism master plan
This year’s edition of the World Tourism Day celebration has been described as the mother of all events organised by Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) in the history of the private sector in Nigeria. It did not only activate purposeful commitment but also mobilised stakeholders and lovers of tourism from all spheres of human endeavours.
The 2022 WTD theme; Rethink Tourism, which came with a robust meaning knowing the wide range of tourism value chain as it relates to different continents, regions, countries and states, FTAN did not hesitate to domesticate the theme with a focus on Lagos water tourism activities.
The experiential world tourism day cruise to Tarkwa Bay, one of the friendly beaches in Lagos via the Tarzen Jetty in Victoria Island was a spectacle to behold as the speed boats in different shapes and sizes brought life to the Lagos waters with contemporary music entertaining well-kitted tourists onboard the boats.
The cruise order was highly controlled with every captain of each boat moving at a friendly speed limit, giving the passengers the rare opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the Lagos waterways while they also have a life time view of beehives of activities along the long coastline as well as architectural transition on the lagoon and beach.
The water cruise brings a whole different city vibes experience, from the frequency of the waves, bird watch, people fishing to other hustling activities compared to those done on land.
The one hour cruise from the Tarzan jetty to the Tarkwa Bay beach was not only entertaining and refreshing,but also educative, opening new opportunities for some tour operator, who are already seeing new areas of engagement to doing some good business.
Many who experienced the cruise for the first time promised to make a return visit, while other see the WTD celebration as an avenue to tap into a new business line on the water cruise and beach package as part of rethinking tourism.
At the Tarkwa Bay, the experience was different…the beach was not only friendly, but it created an avenue to meet with the locals, who in their entrepreneurship means of survival engage in the making of different souvenirs and acts to entertain tourists to the beach.
The slogan ‘tourism is life’ also played out as the visit to the beach gave a good interpretation to the power of tourism-money change hands, people where engaged in serving coconut drinks as well as selling of coconut chips alongside trade that has provided something to do for everyone on the line of tourism value chain.
Speaking at the venue, the National President of FTAN, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, who spoke with great enthusiasm, said the occasion of 2022 WTD celebration FTAN called on all tourism leaders, government officials and everyone at the base of the broad and diverse tourism pyramid to pause reflect and rethink what we do and how we do it.
Onung however called on the FG, policy makers and other public and private sector to rethink tourism for a better engagement for tourism to take its rightful place in the scheme of things so as to contribute to Nigeria’s economy.
According to him “To achieve these goals, we must rethink how we think tourism, how we do tourism, the need collaboration, digitalisation of the industry, domestic tourism promotions and activities as well as purposeful and healthy lobbying to create an enabling environment for FTAN and the well over 20 associations under it.
“FTAN, therefore calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to rethink the level of investment and funding for tourism in Nigeria through increased budget allocation. The budget profile should increase capital budget to exceed recurrent one.
“The Federal Government should rethink merging tourism parastatals, rather they should empower them to meet their mandates. Better still give tourism a stand-alone ministry.
“It is time for Nigeria to have a tourism master plan and rejig her tourism policies if they exist.
In his remarks, the Chairman FTAN BOT, Chief Sam Alabi commended the organisation of the 2022 WTD celeberation, adding that the FTAN leadership have set a benchmark in this year’s event which tempo must be maintained.
“My challenge to the executive of FTAN is that you have seen the acceptability of the event, please don’t let this one be the last. I expect that by next year, it will be an overnight camping event whereby we come by 6:00pm and go back around 5:00am. I want to say that it is doable because we have the capacity, the resource and everything to make it happen.
“Let us continue to do our bid; FTAN is writing history today and those generation coming after us will read it.
Alabi however called on the government to do a lot of things for tourism to scale up, charging them to always do their bid and not only approach the private sector when it is time to collect tax.
In his contribution, the President and Founder, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle,Akinboboye, who started his water base business over 40 years ago, spoke with vivid statistics on the many untapped opportunities of the Lagos coastline, calling on purposeful commitment and friendly policy to drive investment to the waterfront.
Akinboboye explained that his effort at the waterfront had brought about generational successes to the people of Ikegun Lekki where his beachfront resort is located.
“We have created employment for thousands of villagers who before we came onboard only depended on their main occupation but now, we have created more job openings and also built capacity for the generation of youths of Ikegun.
He called on government to renew effort at giving the Lagos viable coastline the economic boost it deserves to scale-up the GDP of the state.
He thanked the president of FTAN for the prompt initiative of rethinking tourism through the aquatic splendor of Lagos state.
The World Tourism Day celebration rallied stakeholders from the public and private sector as well as tourism lovers from all parts of the country to enjoy the best of Tarkwa Bay. Among them were the Chairman FTAN BOT, Chief Sam Alabi, FTAN first Deputy President, Alhaji Aliyu Badaki, President of NANTA, Mr Susan Akpoyaire, President of ATBOWTAN, Dr Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun, President and Founder, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort.OtunbaWanle,Akinboboye, representative of NAVY, NIWA, the police and may other, who came in from Abuja, Cross River, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau etc.
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