Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has announced one of the state’s rural and rustic enclaves, Araromi, which possesses one of the best beachfronts in Nigeria, as a Tourism Zone.
This is inline with the actualisation of the dream of the governor in making the Sunshine State a choice tourist destination and will be the first community in the history of Nigerian tourism to be officially declared a Tourism Zone.
This new move would see the development and transformation of the rural community into a thriving blue economy for the benefit of the global business and leisure travellers as well as the locals.
This latest project of the governor is in conjunction with La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, latching on the expertise of the founder of the African-themed resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, who is also the strategic partner and consultant to Akeredolu on tourism development.
Akeredolu unfolded his vision for Araromi, which is located in Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area of the State, after a strategic meeting with Akinboboye in his Alagbaka, Akure office.
In attendance at the session were the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa; the Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Wale Akinlosotu; and the Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Dare Aragbaye.
According to the governor, it was time to develop the huge potential of the state in tourism, using a new approach, hence the declaration of Araromi beachfront as a Tourism Zone, noting that the development of the project will be in partnership with La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, to replicate the success stories of tourism as evident in other climes, with particular reference to Dubai.
‘‘We have reached an agreement to declare our waterfronts or shores, where we have a lot of advantages in the country, a Tourism Zone,” said Akeredolu.
In his remarks, Akinboboye applauded the governor for this bold move, assuring him of the huge benefits that it would bring to the state, especially in the area of infrastructure development and job creation as well as in transforming the rural community into a fast-growing economic and tourist destination of the first choice.
According to him, of the 840 kilometres of beachfront that Nigeria has, Ondo State boasts of 200 kilometres, which is said to be the longest, and perhaps one of the most naturally-endowed. Therefore, it has limitless potential that can beat any beachfront community in the world.
“I am sure you are aware that there are 840 kilometres of beachfront in Nigeria across six states in which Ondo State has the longest, with almost 200 kilometres of it,’’ disclosed Akinboboye.
He stated further: “The entire Dubai has a total of 70 kilometres of beachfront; they welcome over 15.9 million visitors every year. Just imagine if they spend a thousand dollars, just multiply that by 15.9 million people; that is what Mr Governor wants to replicate, to bring the entire world here. “We have the richest ocean because of limited operations of trolleys, so our sea is extremely rich with different species of fish, prawns and the entire tourism activities that we believe very strongly will not only attract just Nigerians but Africans in Diaspora.
“A declaration like this will attract the world to that area for business opportunities. With this declaration, we in the state would have built a humongous platform for tomorrow’s people.
“The platform we are standing on today was built by yesterday’s people. Mr. Governor has begun the process to build the platform for tomorrow’s people.”