Comrade Cletus Opukeme, Chairman of Delta State Travel Writers’ Corps, has advised the state Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to emulate Dubai’s strategy of tourism development in order to attract direct inflow of foreign investment into the state to boost the internally generated revenue profile, just as he called on the state government to allocate more funds to the sector to enable the ministry of culture and tourism to upgrade more attractions.
Opukeme, who is also the Publisher of Daily Watch online news, commended Governor Okowa for his commitment towards developing the culture and tourism sector of the state’s economy, adding that: “So far, travel journalists in the state are satisfied with the ongoing film village project among a few others.”
Speaking with newsmen in Warri at the weekend, Comrade Opukeme, urged the state government to continue to give priority attention to tourism and development and promotion, noting that tourism ought to be greatly considered as a means of diversifying the economic sector, with a view to stimulating sustainable development at the grassroots.
“According to World Travel and Tourism Council, Tourism is one of world’s largest economic sectors, supporting one in 10 jobs (319 million) worldwide and generating 10.4% of world GDP.
“As at 2018, Dubai, an oil producing country like Nigeria had a GDP of $102.67 billion, derives less than 1% of its GDP on oil and about 20% was contributed by tourism.
“Although Oil was previously Dubai’s main source of revenue, it ventured into exploring the Tourism industry, which has been beneficial to the growth of its economy. Today, Dubai has focused its economy on tourism by building hotels and developing real estate,” the travel journalist said.
He commended the state governor on the 13 years lease agreement with Abuja Boat Club to upgrade the historic Lander Brothers Anchorage in Asaba to international standards to attract international tourists and ongoing construction work on the film village, pointing out that tourism promotion without media partnership would not achieve desired results and called on the commissioner to carry the travel media along at all times.
The publisher also lamented that: “While the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated revenue related to tourism and travel in Nigeria to exceed $10 billion in 2007, and to account for approximately 6% of the gross domestic product. Over 10 years have elapsed and this has still not become a reality for Nigeria”.