Lagos Tourism Master Plan: ATPN Calls For Immediate Implementation Of Policy Documents - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Lagos Tourism Master Plan: ATPN Calls For Immediate Implementation Of Policy Documents


LAGOS - The Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN) have called for the immediate implementation of the recently launched Lagos Tourism Master Plan and a Policy Document aimed towards a sustainable development of the sector in the state and the country at large.


President of the Association, Hassan Abdullah Zakari made the call during a courtesy visit to the Office of the Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Arts and Culture, Alausa, Ikeja, saying the group was particularly happy at the launch of the Policy Document.


"This is what we have been canvassing for over the years with the Federal Government’s Master Plan without success. We are therefore happy that Lagos has taken the bold step as usual to set the tone and direction for others to follow. We call for immediate implementation of the two documents and pledge our support and cooperation." Zakari noted.


Mr Zakari who also proposed an initiation of a Tourism Promotion Policy to deliberately promote domestic tourism in the state via a government reward system, using tourism activities such as offering all-inclusive holiday packages to domestic destination as incentives to civil servants, advised the inclusion of the  private sector to stimulate domestic tourism instead of offering rewards to travels outside the country, adding that a policy on school excursions could be initiated to build tourism ambassadors from tender ages in Lagos schools as a way of creating interest for tourism in children and youths for sustainability of the industry.


He said that the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN) is a pioneer body of tourism businesses in Nigeria established in 1990 and recognized by the Nigerian Tourism charter with  members that cut across the various segments of tourism and her allied industries was set to build a robust tourism industry that will contribute meaningfully to the country’s economy and serve the public professionally as well as liaise with government to provide enabling environment and support to the sector.


Also speaking,  Prince Adetunji Femi Fadina, the South-West Zonal Coordinator of ATPN appreciated the Ministry for receiving the association at a short notice, stressing the need to maintain the synergy between the Government and practitioners in the sector for maximum productivity of the  industry in the state.


Prince Fadina emphasised the need for the Cultural Assets in the State to be given topmost priority owing to their uniqueness and the comparative advantage they present to the future of the sector and the Lagos.


Also Mrs Abiola Ogunbiyi,  Legal Adviser, ATPN who opined that there was the need to dominate the tourism space in West Africa siting strategies from countries such as China, Singapore by investing in strategic assets as contained in the master plan across West Africa advised the Ministry to be strategic in driving traffic to the state via investments from other locations in West Africa, where they can stem the tide of misinformation and disinformation about tourism in the country.


On her part, the Commissioner,  Lagos State Ministry of Arts and Culture,  Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yusuf commended  the delegation for the visit while expressing her resolve to ensure the provision of an enabling environment for the tourism industry to thrive in Lagos, hence the launch of the Master Plan and Policy Documents.


She also enjoined the industry practitioners to support the ministry in her quest to build a sustainable tourism by coming up with suggestions as the ATPN has done with visit, noting that it was  the only way they would know where to focus as a government.


Uzamat enjoined practitioners to participate in the ongoing consultative forum organised by the Ministry of Budget and Planning  in order for government to know the need of the industry and be included in the  state's budget.


" The ministry will submit her own budget but what the Budget and Planning ministry gets from the Public Forum forms an integral part of budget approval" Uzamat said. 


In his remark, the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Tourism, Mr. Solomon Saanu encouraged practitioners to own the tourism space and participate in government programs, plans and activities to give support and impetus to the Ministry in dealing with other government agencies to develop tourism.


Also in attendance at the meeting, Mrs A. Oni, a Director in the Ministry who re-iterated the need to attend the consultative forums as a matter of necessity so that tourism projects and programs as enumerated by practitioners can be captured in the budget.

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