Africa: Lagos State World Tourism Day 2020, a successful ‘Phygital’ celebration in Nigeria


The Lagos State Government, led by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has scored another first, as it successfully hosted the World Tourism Day 2020 celebration as a ‘phygital’ – a hybrid event combining virtual and physical elements.

September 27 is recognized annually as World Tourism Day, and the date was proposed to UNWTO (formerly IUOTO) by a Nigerian, Ignatius Atigbi. The day is marked in different parts of the world with various tourism related activities. However, the COVID-19 situation, although limited gatherings and participation in many places, several industry players took time to mark the day by posting on social media, while some organized manageable activities.

The Lagos State WTD 2020 celebration was a well-organised event put together by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Pharmcist (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf with help from the organisers of Akwaaba African Travel Market, led by Ambassador Ikechi Uko, who moderated the physical event which took place at the Lagos Theatre, Oregun, Ikeja.

The physical event brought together some former commissioners and special assistants who joined Pharm (Mrs.) Akinbile-Yusuf, who delivered the address of the UNTWO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili; while several notable dignitaries joined via Zoom, among them were: HRM Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal and former Commissioner for Home Affairs Dr. Franklin Adejuwon, whose birthday was incidentally yesterday.

Other important dignitaries who graced the event, either physically or via Zoom, included: Steve Ayorinde, Ashimi Jamiu Adewale, and Fadipe Ashamu Sewanu. In addition, there were several goodwill messages from all over the country from important industry stakeholders, such as Gabe Onah from Carnival Calabar, Susan Akporiaye (President of NANTA), FTAN chieftains, such as Alh. Aliyu Badaki and Lolo Ngozi Ngoka among others.

Live feeds and reports were received from various parts of Lagos such Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Lagos Island, showcasing some tourists’ attractions in those places.

The physical event maintained strict COVID-19 safety protocols with the provision of hand sanitizer and liquid soap and water for hand washing. Also, all attendees had on their face masks and/or shields, while social distancing was well maintained.

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