The Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon Muyiwa Oladipo, has opined that tourism, if well harnessed, can revitalise the economy of the nation.
Oladipo made this known at a lecture to commemorate the World Tourism Day organised by the Tourism Department of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, with the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism -Tool for Development’ held at the library, Abeokuta.
He further noted that Nigeria was blessed with world class tourism sites, and that for the country to fully achieve the dream of diversifying its economy from oil and take its rightful place among the comity of nations, much still needed to be done in order to tap into its huge tourism potential.
“The United Nations has instituted the World Tourism Day having realised the indisputable potential in tourism. The theme of this year encapsulate the imposing opportunities inherent in the tourism sector. As stakeholders in the field, we all must realise our role in its development,’’ he said.
He identified uncontrolled urban development, social animosity, community disintegration, loss of local value as well as environmental degradation as some of the factors militating against tourism development.
While urging citizens to invest in tourism, Oladipo said “Our people should start thinking of investing in tourism. Investment in the sector builds resilience, grows partnership, as it requires little income to participate and break into the tourism economy.’’
At the occasion, the Senior Advisor on Children’s Education and Tourism, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Olori Olanike Ogunleye, appreciated the Chief Promoter of the department, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and described him as a man who had contributed in no small measure to driving tourism.