In Nigeria, the celebration of the World Tourism Day (WTD) 2022 for September 27, a day set aside by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), to commemorate tourism, with the theme; Rethinking Tourism, is expected be enthralling and filled with pomp. This is as both the public and private sectors would mark the day with various activities.
In Lagos, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) will spearhead the celebration on September 27, as its lead the way with basket of events scheduled to hold at Tarwa Bay, which is an almost forgotten tourism enclave across the Lagos Atlantic and Lagoon.
It is staging a boat cruise to explore the beauty, sights and sounds of Lagos, with take off point for all tourism operators and the general public at Tarzan Jetty by Oriental Hotel, Lagos Island at 10am. A number of fun filled and leisure events would hold while there would also be a talk session with the President of FTAN, Nkereuwem Onung billed to speak on the theme of the day alongside other speakers, which include the President of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye.
The day’s activities will close with a grand award and gala night event that would showcase both musical and cultural display of high level by different artistes and performing troupes. Billed to hold at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, three important personalities would be bestowed with the FTAN Icon Awards 2022.
They are the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwu-Olu; who would be honoured for his commitment to the development and promotion of tourism; the Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa; for creating a new vista and visibility for the training institute and re-engineering manpower development in the sector. While Chief Margaret Bolanle Fabiyi; who is the founder and president of Webisco and Women in Tourism as well as the president of the Africa Travel Association (ATA), Nigeria chapter, will be honoured for her unalloyed devotion to tourism and long service, as she is credited as a living woman legend of Nigerian tourism. Speaking at a pre – World Tourism Day press conference in Lagos during the week, Onung gave reasons why FTAN is solely spearheading the celebration of WTD this year and the choice of Lagos as host and boat cruise a focal event. According to him, FTAN as the umbrella body for private sector operators in tourism, has the responsibility to lead and fashion agenda for the sector and celebrating WTD, is one of the ways of fulfilling its mandate, even as he noted that it is intended to rally its members and operators towards a common a goal.
‘‘It is time as private sector to do the business of tourism and show capacity by getting things do by ourselves. So, staging WTD this year is part of that effort at building capacity and showing our dedication to our business,’’ he said. Why on the choice of Lagos as host, he said is deliberate given the huge investment in tourism by the state government and the robustness of the city. Focusing on water related leisure, using boat cruise, he said was a natural choice given that Lagos is known for its aquatic splendour. According to him, the emphasis is on highlighting the economy of marine, noting that marine tourism offers a lot of opportunities to the development of the economy.
However, he lamented that water transportation is the only part that Nigeria and Lagos state is focusing on and even at that it is done poorly. With FTAN focusing on water, using boat cruise, he said it is to draw attention to the beauty of water transportation and tourism activities that can be generated from it and the wealth that it creates through various activities if properly focused and harnessed. He also stated that FTAN would be using the celebration to review the performance of the sector and set agenda for the next one year, saying that this would require both the private and public sectors to engage meaningfully so as to ensure that tourism thrives as a business and not as a socio-cultural event.
While the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Gani Tarzan Balogun, who is fondly called the Boatman, gave details of the activities while assuring everyone of memorable celebration as well as safe and savoring boat cruise. He stated that the choice of Tarkwa Bay is because it is easily accessible, safer, cleaner and easy as well as safe and enjoyable to swim on the water more than other beaches in the state. Balogun also noted that a number of water related leisure and water transportation operators are supporting the event by offering different facilities and services towards the success of the event while the state government and regulatory bodies and security agencies particularly the Nigerian Navy and Marine Police are also part of the event. Attendance of the event, he said is free, noting that no fare would be charged for the boat cruise, which he promised would be very enthralling and delightsome as there would be a colourful parade and display on water while there would be a lot of entertainment during the cruise and on land at Tarwa Bay.
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Tweets by NewTelegraphNIG
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