Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Minister harnesses community-based tourism for economic development

“‘Tourism is real business when those in these communities understand that they need to be accommodating.’’

• April 16, 2024
Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John,
Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John

The Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, said on Monday that the ministry would be committed to building community-based tourism to generate revenue and employment opportunities for the locals.

Ms Ade-John disclosed this during a meeting with members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism in Lagos.

She noted that the ministry would ensure that local communities have full ownership of their tourism experience so that the economic benefits stay within the community.

According to her, having gone around some tourism sites in the country, she observed that the majority of the nation’s tourism assets can be located within local communities.

She said it had become necessary to enlighten people in those communities to maintain a clean and healthy environment capable of attracting local and international tourists.

“As the government, we want to focus on community-based tourism. In the coming days, we will be working with the communities that accommodate these tourism assets to educate them on the business of tourism. Tourism is real business when those in these communities understand that they need to be accommodating, hospitable, neat and friendly. We need to preserve our environment and those tourist attractions.

“We want situations whereby individuals can offer their homes to tourists; we want to work on Nigerians’ mindset to develop a culture that is tourism-friendly even at the grass-roots. This is the reason we are currently training tour guides and operators across communities within the country.

“We also want to ensure that street food is promoted. This is part of our culture that international tourists will always look forward to experiencing,” she said.

The minister expressed readiness to work with ANJET as professionals in the industry.

Earlier, ANJET president Victor Nze commended the minister for her zealous disposition towards advancing tourism in the country. 

(NAN)

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