Realising that successful tourism development depends greatly on excellent cooperation and communication among all stakeholders involved in the industry, a group of experts and stakeholders under the auspices of Bayelsa Tourism Stakeholders’ Association (BTSA) with members drawn from the private sector, government agencies, tourism associations, quasi-government bodies and the media have announced the setting up of a five-man interim executive to chart a new course to promote domestic tourism in the state.
Speaking with travel writers at the end of its inaugural meeting held at Ididie Hotel, in Ekeki, Yenagoa on Friday, convener of the meeting and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Mohogany 21st Century Concept, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi, emphasized the importance of stakeholders’ role in achieving successful tourism development and promotion, adding that tourism, being a complex social system, needed a strong synergy among stakeholders to drive it sustainably, hence the convocation of the stakeholders meeting to articulate the way forward for the industry.
Mr. Omorozi said the objectives of the association were geared towards providing a formidable stakeholders’ platform for self development, interchange of knowledge, experience and formal professional training, encourage and assist tourism professionals who are engaged in different fields to maintain the integrity and competence of the profession, liaise, interact and work in concert with government at the state and local government levels, including relevant agencies in order to guarantee timely and effective development of travel and tourism resources in Bayelsa State.
According to the convener, the new tourism association intends to advance the art of travel and tourism activities in the state through research, education, information technology and development, in addition to maintaining contacts with similar bodies worldwide with a view to promoting bilateral exchanges between Bayelsa Tourism Stakeholders’ Association and other such bodies and organisations outside.
He pointed out that the association which intends to regulate members’ activities in line with global best practices would make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to facilitate the smooth operation of the body and to perform any other function incidental to the set objectives of the association.
Highpoint of the inaugural meeting was the appointment of a five-man interim executive, chaired by the convener, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi, Chief Operating Officer of Ididie Travels and Tours Limited, Mr. Ebikibina Iyoro (Vice Chairman), Madam Helen Ovieteme Lott, from Bayelsa State Council of Arts and Culture (Treasurer), Chairman of Travel Writers’ Corps of Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Piriye Kiyaramo(PRO), while Mr. Tonbra Subai, from the State Tourism Development and Hotel Licensing Agency, is to serve as Secretary.
Those in attendance include: Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism Development and Managing Director of Tamarks Travels & Tours Ltd, Mr. Tamaramiebi Abiri, President of Bayelsa Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Prince Peres, renowned visual artist and activist, Pius Waritimi, Director-General of Yenagoa Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (YECIMA), Barrister Jones Warmeate Idikio and President of Oloibiri Oil amd Gas Discovery Day Thanksgiving Initiative, Evang. Naranie Albert Karibo.
It would be recalled that tourism stakeholders in any tourism destination include local residents, local companies, media, employees, government, environmentalists, security agencies, competitors, tourists, business associations, activists and tourism developers, among others.