It is a global observance day fostering awareness on tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goal.
In Rivers State, the state government has called on those in hospitality business to rethink and chart the roadmap for restarting the tourism industry toward a more effective resumption, recovery and resilience.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Tonye Briggs Oniyide, made this known in her address to commemoration to mark World Tourism day in Port Harcourt.
Tonye Briggs who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Monday Yeiimonah reiterated that as countries gradually lift restrictions especially on travels and businesses, and tourism slowly restarts in many parts of the world, health concerns must continue to be top priority in the operations.
She added that there is needs to expand the frontiers of tourism investment beyond the traditional areas; harnessing and leveraging on the vast potentials and opportunities in the state and commended the state government for the support in the sector.
“Let me reiterate that as countries gradually lift restrictions especially on travels and businesses, and tourism slowly restarts in many parts of the world, health concerns must continue to be top priority in your operations.
“I urge you to put in place adequate and comprehensive health protocols to protect workers, communities and guests in compliance to state regulations on Covid-19. The administration of His Excellency, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON) considers very seriously the health and safety of all Rivers people and will not condone any act of negligence that could jeopardize the lives of the people.
“Furthermore, inclusive growth reflected in the theme, highlights the needs to expand the frontiers of tourism investment beyond the traditional areas; harnessing and leveraging on the vast potentials and opportunities in the state; bridging service gaps; exploiting new opportunities across vast tourism value-chains in eco-tourism, cultural festivals, wildlife, marine, indigenous cuisines, local fabrics, arts, parks and monuments, and landmark historical events; these should all be developed across communities in the state.
“Experiences in about the past 18 months of the pandemic, clearly shows that active private sector participation is crucial to the survival, speedy recovery and resilience of the sector. I call on all investors in the sector to be more resourceful, innovative and to collaborate and leverage on every available opportunity to promote investments and speedy recovery of the sector.
There is also the overriding need to digitalize the tourism economy to launch out into the global hub or endless possibility.
She appealed to the good people of Rivers State to continue to project the traditional peace and hospitality for which Rivers State and its people are known.
“Let me use this occasion to appeal to the good people of Rivers State to continue to project the traditional peace and hospitality for which Rivers State and its people are known.
For only in so doing that guests and investors could be attracted to invest for the state to reap the returns of a robust and prosperous economy.
“Rivers State is known for its wide accommodation, friendliness, peace, traditional hospitality and mutual co-existence with its guests and neighbours.
Correspondent reports that the theme of this year: “Tourism For Inclusive Growth”.
Our correspondent reports that the DG/CEO RSTDA highlighted the 17 Global Goals Agenda across communities in Rivers State through the activation of 17 distinct Culture Arts and Creative Economy Impact Festivals.