In a bid to stimulate growth and development in the tourism sector to achieve best results and cooperation of stakeholders, the government of Bayelsa State in Nigeria’s South-south region has resolved to constitute a srategic committee on culture and tourism.
This comes with the realisation that planning is key to maintaining sustainable tourism development.
State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Iti Orugbani, gave the hint while playing host to His Royal Highness, King I. C. Awululu, Olua I, the Ibeyanaowei of Oluasiri clan in Nembe local government area in his office in Yenagoa recently.
According to Dr. Orugbani, the new administration under Senator Douye Diri has identified tourism as one of the preferred sectors to boost the local economy, saying that “we are ready to transform the culture and tourism sector.”
The commissioner said, “realizing that Bayelsa State is endowed with enormous cultural heritage and tourism potentials, it has become imperative to chart a clear roadmap for the tourism sector.
“Central to this endeavour, is the setting up of a strategic committee that will develop a “Tourism Blueprint” for the state,” he explained.
He noted that “members of the proposed strategic committee would be persons that have total support for the prosperity administration of Governor Douye Diri and would be carefully selected based on their experience, specialism, passion and the right contacts.”
The commissioner disclosed that terms of reference of the committee would include the following: work out clear strategies on development of tourist sites across the state, putting into consideration possible environmental concerns between tourism, land and biodiversity, draw from past challenges and work out an acceptable cultural promotion and tourism advancement model to ensure a coordinated and sustainable development of culture and tourism in the state.
To develop up-to-date content on cultural tourism marketing, highlighting the economic benefits of the industry to Bayelsa State, while leveraging on low hanging fruits in the sector, identify potential partners and stakeholders that can contribute to culture and tourism advancement in the state, assist in taking any other responsibility that may be relevant to the entire gamut of culture and tourism content development, promotion and marketing in the state and to develop a workable culture and tourism development blueprint, putting into consideration the role of government, the locals, corporate partners and other relevant stakeholders.
His Royal Highness, King I. C. Awululu, Olua I, the Ibeyanaowei of Oluasiri clan had thanked the commissioner, being one of his subjects and prayed God to guide him his endeavours.
The Royal father pointed out that every effort geared towards promoting the rich cultural heritage of the people was worthwhile.