Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Samuel Numenegi, has called on the federal, states and local governments to pay adequate attention to tourism promotion and development, adding that its contributions to poverty reduction, efficiency and productivity, also impacts on several external economic factors, making tourism promotion to be an impetus to economic growth in every sense.
Mr, Numenegi who stated this while inaugurating the Bayelsa State executive of Travel Writers Corps in his office at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Yenagoa, reiterated that “today tourism is one of the main directions of development of states and national economies, pointing out that with the development of the tourism sector, the state or country, can receive significant revenues and reduce the current alarming high level of unemployment.
While stressing the urgent need for government at all levels to formulate tourism promotion policies to market the numerous tourist potentials to gain wide recognition, he lamented that was little or no meaningful efforts being made to develop the sector at the states and local governments’ levels, despite the huge foreign exchange earnings that tourism could bring to bear no the internally generated revenue profiles of states and even local governments.
He added that “Tourism development is not only the result of the industry activities, but that it needs concerted efforts of state actors and the private sectors, informing that the growth of interest towards any state on the international tourism market will be largely conditioned by the state’s tourism promotion policies.”
He enjoined the Bayelsa State Travel Writers Corps executive to partner with the state ministry of culture and tourism in collaboration with the private sector to come up with modalities to promote the abundant tourism potentials in the state through their various media channels.
The NUJ chairman stressed on the need to develop tourists sites in the state, such as the Oxbow Lake, Amassoma Seigbein fishing festival, Odi Ogoriba Uge festival, Okpoama, Koluama, Foropah, Ekeni Ezetu, Akassa and Agge beaches among several other attractions to enhance the state’s tourism offerings.
In his acceptance remarks, chairman of the Bayelsa State Travel Writers Corps, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo, noted that Bayelsa State, tagged the glory of all lands, is home to Oloibiri Well 1 (the first oil well in West Africa, discovered in 1956) which marked the beginning of the shift of Nigeria’s economic base from agriculture to oil and gas, saying that the oil-rich Bayelsa State is not only filled with oil wells, but has a very rich cultural heritage and biodiversity with amazing tourist attractions dotted across the entire state.
Other members of the newly inaugurated executive include, Mrs Pauline Onyibe(Vice Chairman), Aherhoke Okioma(Secretary), Ariwera Howells(Assistant Secretary), Favour Kei(Treasurer), Mike Tayese(Financial Secretary), Ebiowei Lawal(PRO), Glory Edoni (Welfare Officer) and Benedict Owei(representative of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Culture and Tourism).