• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Diversification of economy: Akwa Ibom to unveil tourism agenda at FTAN’s AGM

Diversification of economy: Akwa Ibom to unveil tourism agenda at FTAN’s AGM

Despite its huge crude oil resources, Akwa Ibom State is making efforts at diversifying its economy and becoming less dependent on the monthly federal allocation.

In that regard, the state has developed a comprehensive tourism agenda, which is tagged ‘ARISE Agenda’.

The tourism agenda is aimed at driving the state’s tourism industry to new heights.

However, the state hopes to officially unveil the agenda at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) billed to hold in Abuja later this month.

Umoh Enoh, governor of Akwa Ibom State, is expected to lead executives of the state at the unveiling at the gathering of tourism stakeholders at the Nicon Luxury, Abuja.

FTAN’s AGM will also be the first official forum for the newly-inaugurated governor to unveil his tourism master plan geared towards raising significant investments in upgrading and developing tourism infrastructure in the state.

The governor, who is also the special guest at FTAN’ AGM, is expected to use the forum to talk on how the ‘ARISE Agenda’ will propel Akwa Ibom tourism to new heights.

According to FTAN, its partnership with the Akwa Ibom Government is strategic to achieving the ARISE Agenda for the growth of the tourism industry in the state.

It would be recalled that last June, FTAN announced that Governor Eno would be a special guest at the AGM.

Nkereuwem Onung, president of FTAN, who disclosed this in a statement, said Eno’s promise shows his openness to tourism promotion and development.

Onung said that the governor’s promise to be part of the AGM is a sign of better things to come, adding that the move is a sign of readiness to not only give tourism a place in the scheme of things but also rally and form alliances with the organised private sector to boost tourism promotion.

The FTAN president assured that this year’s AGM is going to be an interesting one.

As well, the theme, ‘Tourism: Today and Tomorrow- Setting Agenda for the New Administration’ is timely to meet the trend of things in the country as Nigeria is experiencing a new face of leadership.

“Also to make the event grander, people engaging and a touch of sincerity of purpose, we added a sub-theme; ‘Community Involvement in Tourism Development: Building Partnerships for Sustainable,’ to create a B2B collaboration afterwards,” Onung said.

Meanwhile, the ARISE Agenda of Governor Eno seeks to grow the state’s tourism industry through enhanced infrastructure and to woo significant investments to upgrade and develop tourism infrastructure in the state.

According to a statement by the governor, the new agenda seeks to among other things, “Sustainable Tourism Initiatives: By implementing eco-friendly measures, conserving natural resources, and protecting the region’s rich biodiversity, its stunning landscapes and unique ecosystems will be preserved for generations to come.

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“Cultural Heritage Preservation: Akwa Ibom State boasts a wealth of cultural treasures waiting to be discovered.

“Destination Marketing and Promotion: Through strategic campaigns, collaborations with travel influencers, and participation in international tourism events, Akwa Ibom can be positioned as a must-visit destination, capturing the attention of travellers from around the globe.

“Community Involvement and Empowerment: By engaging local communities in the tourism sector, providing training and opportunities for entrepreneurship, and supporting local businesses, AKS can create a sustainable tourism ecosystem that benefits the people”.

According to Eno, with the ARISE Agenda, Akwa Ibom State is poised to become a premier tourism destination, offering breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and unforgettable experiences.

In the same vein, Wanle Akinboboye, president of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resorts, will be the lead speaker at the FTAN AGM.

He will lead other speakers including Imeh Udo, Clara Okoro, Allen Effeh and Kabir Ali in tackling issues at the AGM, which is themed: ‘Sustainable Tourism: The need for sellable tourism products’.

Akinboboye is a Nigerian culture and tourism icon, who owns La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resorts, the world’s first African-themed beach, forest and river resort.

In recent times, he commissioned additional resorts in other destinations, such as in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, Wolyta Soddo in Ethiopia and Koton-Karfe, Kogi State, Nigeria. He is also embarking on creating a theme resort in Antigua and Barbuda.

He also created and produced the Mare Festival for the Ondo State government of Nigeria.

Akinboboye is a lover of Africa who believes firmly that African culture, art, music and cuisine can bring prosperity to the continent if harnessed. He refers to his efforts as continent-building, which explains why he engages his experience in tourism, hospitality management, security and entertainment to create employment opportunities for people in Africa.

In the theme for this year’s FTAN AGM, the federation tries to draw attention to sustainable tourism which aims to minimize negative environmental, social, and cultural impacts while maximizing positive contributions to local communities and the environment.

However, for sustainable tourism practices to be successful, they must also be economically viable.

In Nigeria, the federation believes it is essential to develop tourism products and experiences that not only prioritize sustainability but also meet market demand and attract visitors.