Bayelsa Travel Writers seek support for tourism awareness at the grassroots

Posted by News Express | 12 November 2020 | 705 times

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•Governor Diri


Travel Writers in Bayelsa on Wednesday solicited for support to its ongoing efforts at creating the needed awareness on tourism potentials at the grassroots to promote tourism development.

Chairman and Secretary of the Travel Writers’ Corps, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo and Chief Aherhoke Okioma, respectively, made the call while featuring on a weekly tourism radio programme monitored in Yenagoa

The duo said that they are worried by the low level of tourism awareness at the grassroots, blaming the development on inadequate sensitisation on the part stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

Speaking further, Kiyaramo said that they were poised to change the narrative as the objective of the travel corps was to fill the tourism information gap through its reportage across the state.

“The duties and responsibilities of the travel writers include: studying tourist sites and evaluating different aspects, such as boarding and lodging facilities, travel convenience, cost of stay, tourist destinations and the best time of the year to visit a place,” he explained.

Kiyaramo observed that a well articulated tourism initiative will certainly boost the local economy, create thousands of jobs and stimulate development of infrastructures, as well as infuse a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens in a destination.

He said tourism is vital for the success of many economies around the world, adding that “there are several benefits of tourism on host destinations.”

According to the travel journalist, tourism is linked to many other sectors in the economy, including the agricultural sector, communication sector, health sector, and the educational sector.

Tourism according to Kiyaramo, is a revenue booster, adding that many tourists travel to experience the hosting destination’s culture, their different traditions, and local cuisine.

He maintained that: “Governments that rely on tourism for a big percentage of their revenue invest a lot in the infrastructure of the state because they want more and more tourists to visit their states or countries, which implies that safe and advanced facilities are necessary.

“This leads to new roads and highways, developed parks, improved public spaces, new airports, and possibly better schools and hospitals. Safe and innovative infrastructures allow for a smooth flow of goods and services. Moreover, local people experience an opportunity for economic and educational growth,” he noted.

Also contributing, the Secretary of the travel writers’ corps, Okioma, noted that tourism creates a cultural exchange between tourists and local citizens, leveraging on exhibitions, conferences, local festivals and other events which will usually attract foreigners.

He maintained that authorities usually gain profits from registration fees, gift sales, exhibition spaces, and sales of media copyright, noting that foreign tourists bring diversity and cultural enrichment to the hosting destination.

Okioma explained that tourism provides a great opportunity for foreigners to learn about a new culture, even as it also creates many opportunities for local citizens, allowing young entrepreneurs to establish new products and services that would not be sustainable on the local population of residents alone.

He commended the Senator Douye Diri-led administration for giving attention to tourism development and promotion.

Okioma called for synergy among relevant government agencies and private sector stakeholders to chart a new course to improve on the level of tourism awareness at the grassroots.

According to him, doing so will ensure that residents will always experience the benefits that come with tourism, occurring in their own communities and thereby alleviating poverty.

Source: News Express

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