Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, has commended the executive members of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) Lagos chapter over the review of Lagos State tourism master plan.
She made the remark during the handing over of the reviewed copy of the master plan by FTAN to the state government at the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State.
The Commissioner commended the association as partners and stakeholders who had worked hard in putting tourism in the right path in Lagos State and even across the federation.
Mrs Akinbile-Yusuf said she was confident that the work done would be able to put the state on the world map of tourism and would be further reviewed thoroughly and presented to the state governor as well as the State House of Assembly.
The FTAN Coordinator, Lagos chapter Mr Gbenga Sunmonu, said that the mandate of the State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture was for FTAN to go through the masterplan and come up with an ease of implementation.
Mr Sunmonu said FTAN was also to look at how the ministry could sell the tourism masterplan wholesomely to the state and be beneficial to the industry players as well as to the Nigerian economy.
He thanked the commissioner for the opportunity and honour given to the stakeholders to participate in such a task knowing that tourism was a private sector driven enterprise.
Mr Sunmonu also commended the developers of the master plan and the Lagos State Government for investing resources to come up with the document, adding that it was indeed the future of tourism in Lagos.
He said that there were gaps in the document as they were done in the absence of industry players and without them it would be difficult to implement the document.
“The initial document set goals to put Lagos State among the top five destinations in Africa has been surpassed by the state government and the goal now is to be the first in Africa and to position the state in the global map as Lagos has huge tourism resources such as beautiful coastal lines, eco-tourism, rich cultural heritage and history Mr Summonu said.
He added that wthout proper planning and capacity building, it will be difficult to achieve the objectives of the master plan and the industry contributed about 40 per cent of the Internally Generated Revenue in tax returns pointing out that what FTAN has done is to compress the 107 pages document into 42 pages for the ministry to easily implement.
Mr Sunmonu said that the stakeholders had also taken ownership of the document knowing that the industry players were the drivers of tourism.
He urged the state ministry of tourism to implement policies that would further boost tourism development in the state and change those acts that were detrimental to the development of the sector.
FTAN Vice President, South-West Zone Chief Ayo Olumoko, appreciated the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture for championing this course of carrying the stakeholders along.
He urged the tourism stakeholders to respect that act and work unanimously with the ministry to achieve common goals.