The Founder and President of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinbobye and the Mayor of Grand Bassam; a resort town near the city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, Jean Louis Moulot, have signed a strategic partnership on tourism development.
The Mayor tasked Akinboboye with the responsibility of replicating La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in his home country, developing the vast tourism potentials of Grand Bassam and turning it into a tourist’s attraction.
This pact was sealed recently when the Mayor, who is also the Director General of all the airports in his country paid a working visit to the resort in the company of his Ambassador to Nigeria, Traore Kalilou and other officials.
Akinboboye expressed enthusiasm on the development while urging public sector leaders in Nigeria and the rest of Africa to take a cue from the entourage from Cote d’ Ivoire and pay serious attention to the tourism sector as an economic booster.
‘‘Forward looking, proactive leaders like the Cote d’ Ivoire Ambassador to Nigeria and the Mayor of Grand Bassam will be the ones to reap the humongous benefits of this particular opportunity.
Mayor Jean Louis Moulot’s visit to the resort is also the first time he is visiting Nigeria. With this visit, Cote d’ Ivoire is showing the way forward for Africa’s collaboration and development
If the public sector leaders can take a cue from this, tourism will begin to grow in Nigeria. The public sector needs the private sector to invest, manage and develop tourism’’ he said.
One of the quick fixes, he says is for urgent steps to be taken by Nigeria governments across the three levels to begin to invest in turning the various tourist attractions in their respective domain into tourist attractions by developing them and creating economic activities around them for the benefit of the people and boost the nation’s economy and Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The present state of most of the tourist attractions across the country, he says cannot attract any tourist both domestic and international, therefore, cannot yield any worthy revenue or economic activities for the people.
Until concerted efforts are made to employ the right mechanism, investors, tourist experts and developers as the Mayor of Grand Bassam has done, the story will remain the same as those attractions would remain lifeless attractions and not of interest to anyone.
According to him, what makes attractions destinations is when their potentials are developed and economic activities built around them to attract tourists who in turn spend money whenever they visit the destinations, thereby empowering the people who in turn become meaningfully engaged.
Recall that tourism has suffered a serious decline since the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic. This has prompted Akinboboye to call on public sector leaders to come up with innovative ideas that will boost the sector.
The National Association for Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) recently lamented this development in a recent figure which showed a drastic drop in sales of tickets released by it.
According to the report, ticket sales for international travellers in Nigeria recorded about a 31.4 per cent slump in 2019, compared to 2018 estimates. N360 billion was recorded as total sales figure for 2019; a N165 billion difference when compared to N525 billion recorded in previous year.