In celebration of the annual World Tourism Day (WTD), which usually holds in September, The Federation Of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) is planning to hold boat convoy to showcase the huge tourism potentials of the Lagos waterways.
This is just as the association has decided to honour the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR)Nura Kangiwa and Chief Mrs. Magaret Bolanle Idowu Fabiyi, a.k.a Mama Webisco, Founder/ CEO of Webisco Tourism and Webisco Women in Agricultural Tourism Limited for their contribution towards the growth of the sector.
The event which will take place on the 27th September 2022, is being put together in partnership with other private sector organisations of the body operating in the industry.
Speaking at Pre-World Tourism Day, World Conference with theme: “Re-Think Tourism”, in Lagos, President of FTAN, Nkereuwem Onung stated that is was high time the private sector began to do the business of tourism, show capacity and to demonstrate that it can get things done.
According to him, the purpose of holding the World Tourism Day each year should be to mark some progress that has taken place in the industry in the previous one year and see what input can be added to accelerate the growth process in the industry.
Onung stated that the association decided to focus on the power of the water economy in Lagos to showcase the potentials inherent in the waterways, explore its tourism attractiveness to Lagosians and Nigerians and also to encourage its members who operate in the sector.
He said: “We thought that as private sector, it was time for us to begin to do the business of tourism, to show capacity, and to also prove that we can get things done.
“Somebody would ask why is FTAN doing WTD? We have the right to express ourselves; we have the right to monitor and create benchmarks to see what is the improvement in tourism. On the 27th of September we will be talking about “Re-Thinking Tourism”.
“What is it that we are going to be doing in the next one year, so that at the next World Tourism Day, we can now assess if we have actually done what we set out to do the previous year. Now that is what the government is supposed to be doing. It should be to mark some progress that has taken place in the industry in the previous one year.”
“But what we have seen in the past is that there are no reasons for holding the World Tourism Day, even for the choices of the venues chosen by the government. So we thought that as private sector it is time for us to begin to channel a course of action. To begin to do our business, if the government is not ready for the partnership.
“So, this year we thought to emphasis the power of the water economy. That is why we choose the President of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) to head the committee of the WTD and to highlight the fact that there is money water. And also to call on everyone, government and stakeholders to support the boatmen, to make sure that those who have been in that industry enjoy progress.”
“Part of this is to call the attention of the industry to the fact that one of our associations that run business on the water needs to be encouraged.
So that is why one of the major events on the World Tourism Day is to have a boat ride of 10 to 30 boats enroute Tarkwa Bay Beach. This is to show the world that there is adventure in the water beyond moving from one place to the other. That is why we decided to make this World Tourism Day a remarkable one. So this is not a disagreement between us and the government, this is just an avenue to show that we can get things done.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the FTAN, WTD committee, and President of ATBOWATON, Otunba Tarzan Balogun, said the committee has lined up series of activities to thrill on the WTD.
He stated the body will be having a convoy of boats to take tourists along the waterways to experience the beauty and pleasure of the water.
He added that the event of the day will kick off at the Tarzan Jetty at 10am from where tourists will be conveyed to the Tarkwa Bay Beach for series of activities line up.
Tarzan further added that other boat operators in the sector will be collaborating with the body to ensure that there is enough boats to take tourists to the beach.