Obaseki Engages Tourism Stakeholders on Data-Driven Master Plan, Rebranding of Cultural Assets to Boost Economy
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked stakeholders in the tourism sector to work with his administration to deliver a data-driven master plan for the sector as the state government consolidates its economic diversification efforts.
Obaseki gave the charge Friday, April 22, 2022 in Benin City, the state capital, while declaring open a tourism stakeholder workshop organized by the state government to review developments in the sector and aggregate the views of tourism practitioners and regulators in the new tourism master plan.
Explaining the rationale for the workshop, the Governor said the reliance on hydrocarbon revenue was no longer sustainable, hence the need to urgently diversify the state’s economy. in areas where it has a competitive and comparative advantage.
“Resources are dwindling and we have realized the reality that the way we have managed our hydrocarbon assets has not been optimal and can no longer sustain us. What other resources do we have? One of our strengths is tourism,” Obaseki said.
He argued that Edo State’s unique location is a source of tourism revenue, adding, “Because of our unique location, people have to pass through Edo. The question is how can we capture the thousands of people passing through Edo in our shot? »
Obaseki however said that beyond the abundance of ecotourism riches in the state such as its flora and fauna, the precious bronzes, sculptures and other forms of art, “What we want to give to the world is c is what we are.
“We are authentic and there is something original in us. It’s about the personality of Edo, our unique arts and crafts, architecture, our moat and everything we stand for.
“This image of Edo must be shown to the world. We need data and information about our tourist assets, their appeal and their locations. Everyone has to put their part in the conversation.
He added, “Branding, conservation and preservation are key to tourism development. It’s about us and our relationship with ourselves.
He denounced the absence of development plans in key sectors of the state and assured that the “30-year development plan that he will leave to successive administrations will serve as a clear path forward”.
The event brought together Special Advisor, Strategy, Policy, Project and Performance Management, Ms. Sarah Ajose-Adeogun; communication and guidance commissioner, Adaze Emwanta; Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Afie Braimoh; Andy Ehanire, General Manager of the Ogba Zoological Garden and Natural Park; representatives of the National Arts and Culture Council (NCAC); Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, tourism practitioners, Salewa Akomolafe and Dr. Adun Okupe of Verraki Business Solutions for Africa, and other state government officials.