The tourism industry in Akwa Ibom State is set for a facelift as government is poised to turn it into a revenue yielding venture. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Ini Edo, made this known while on familiarization tour of key tourism sites in Uyo Metropolis in company of officials of a foremost tourism promotion outfit, Akwa Tourism Development Company, AKTDC and others.
Places visited include the Unity Museum, Ibom Tropicana entertainment complex, Ibom Specialist hospital, Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Slave Market in Ifiayong and others.
According to her, the state is richly blessed with abundant natural and historical sites to develop into high value tourist destination for Nigerians and foreigners alike.
In her words, “Akwa Ibom people do not have reasons to travel abroad for leisure when such facilities are here on ground. Tourists round the world are yearning to see such natural spectacle located in our state”.
She however decried the bad state of some of the tourist sites so far visited and asked the locals where these sites are located to be good custodians of such assets because soon, the State will witness a boom in the tourism industry.
She reiterated government’s determination to partner tourism development agencies and organizations to revamp most of these sites which according to her have high revenue potentials for the state.
“These are good revenue earners for government and job opportunity for youths especially now that the industrialization drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel is geared towards poverty alleviation, job and wealth creation”.
She therefore promised to work assiduously with relevant agencies of government and private sector in other to give the tourism sector needed face-lift.
While conducting the screen diva round the tourist sites, the master tour guide of Akwa Tourism Development Company (ATDC), Mr. Ubong Ekpe, informed the SA and her team that a lot of work has been done towards packaging the rich tourism potentials in the state and that more still needs to be done to redirect global tourist traffic to the state.
Also speaking, Managing Director of AKDC, Mr. Joseph Utin, promised to support any tourism initiative the SA will project so long as it will have direct benefit to the people and contribute to boost the State’s internally generated revenue.
Mr. Utin also thanked His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel for appointing someone conversant with the tourism industry to man the office, noting that Ini Edo’s appointment is like “putting a square peg in a square hole knowing that the world economic language has changed to tourism.” (Culled from The Ink)