In commemoration of this year’s World Tourism Day, the residents of the Epe Local Council in Lagos State, blessed with a vast aquatic resource, were not left out as they drew attention. stakeholders on its untapped tourism potential.
The ceremony took place at a historic waterfront location known as Oju Alaro located in the Epe Marina area. Oju Alaro is home to a shrine near the entrance and overlooks a vast lagoon serving as a local gateway connecting travelers to the town of Epe. A few blocks away, signs of a new jetty that is being built by the Lagos State government crop up. Life around the region is bustling with activities alongside an adjourned local market, making it a melting point of commerce and culture.
The carnival-like event aimed to sensitize local and international communities to the economic importance of tourism and its socio-political, cultural and economic value. Other highlights of the event include cultural performances, a boat regatta, a mini-exhibition, a live band and a big unveiling of a new visual identity for Epe Tourism.
Amid the drive to attract strategic collaboration towards the tourism potentials of the rich aquatic splendor of the Lagos community is the Executive Chairman of the Epe Local Government, the Honorable Surah Olayemi Animashaun, who has dressed of an ankara accessorized with cowrie shells.
In his welcome speech, Animashaun, who recognized the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) theme titled Tourism for Inclusive Growth under the leadership of Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvii, said: âAs we let go phasing out restrictions and containment measures in the event of a COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to have conversations about diversifying the economy, moving from full dependence on the oil sector and identifying other more inclusive non-oil sectors that can be equally beneficial to the Nigerian economy and its people. ”
Regarding the economic impact of tourism on job creation, Animashaun noted that Nigeria is blessed with rich tourist attractions and, if properly exploited, will not only have a positive impact on the internal growth rate ( IGR) of the nation by increasing international and local trade in different sectors. , but will also create employment opportunities for a representative sample of people in various fields of specialization.
She said: âCurrently, tourism is one of the main engines of economic development and growth, accounting for 10.4% of global GDP. Being one of the fastest growing industries, nations around the world are increasing their investment in tourism development and leveraging their cultural exports heavily to promote their destinations and revive their economies. Epe should not be left behind.
Speaking on Epe’s top attractions, Eko Destination Limited Managing Director Apata Samson Olatunji Olayan, said: Nigeria. People even come from off the coast of Nigeria to buy fish at our famous Oluwo market. Another attraction is today’s event site called âOju Alaroâ with its own shrine and a tour guide to explain to people its importance. One of the main attractions of Epe is that it has a beautiful waterfront, which regularly attracts a lot of people. This ceremony is organized to draw attention to all these resources, which are largely untapped. The idea is to make Epe one of the most popular travel destinations in Africa.