Epe to Mark World Tourism Day Tuesday
Ahead of the commemoration of World Tourism Day on Tuesday, Epe Local Government in Lagos, led by the Executive Chairman, Hon. Surah Animashaun, recently held its Stakeholders’ Sensitisation Luncheon at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Guided by this year’s theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’ that aims to inspire the debate around rethinking tourism for development through education and jobs, as well as tourism’s impact on the planet and opportunities to grow more sustainably, the conference became an exposition of Epe’s tourism potentials.
The conference, which attracted stakeholders from around the world, was timely. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals, globally, at the start of the year were double the level recorded in 2021. This translates to tourism activities returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The luncheon provided a platform for inclusive dialogues, identifying solutions, amplifying the role of tourism towards economic prosperity, and mobilising political figures to ensure that tourism becomes a subject of policy-making.
Noting the importance of rural and community-centric tourism, CEO, Lagos State Council of Art and Culture, Idowu Johnson, explained the need to promote local content driven by culture and history to not only gain economic prosperity but to sell the Nigerian story to the rest of the world.
In a similar vein, the commissioner of Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf disclosed a newly assigned infrastructure project in Epe geared at boosting the local film industry, the Lagos Film City. Uzamat is confident in the tourism potential in Epe.
Having promoted tourism in a limited capacity in her previous role as Supervisor for Environment and Tourism in Epe, Animashaun is delighted about the community’s progression as a tourist site since she assumed office as chairman.
“This time, I’ve been able to attract people from Malaysia, the private sectors such as banks, government, to come to witness the tourism potential in Epe,” Animashaun said.
“The current Lagos State administration under His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu has continued to play a major role in providing basic infrastructure in the form of good road networks, as well as waterways that make Epe accessible from Lagos Island. This is the right time for people to start investing and partner with us because Epe is opening for business.”
“We need more support to build more local content so that there will be more job opportunities here. Additionally, we need more resorts for hospitality purposes. Our culture and heritage are being exhibited because we want more people to come and see it, live it,” she concluded.
Still banking on its ‘Waste to Wealth’ initiative of turning scrap material into art that contributed to the success of last year’s World Tourism Day celebration, Animashaun is doubling down by showcasing more creatives this year.