…Obaseki okays devt. of tourism masterplan
Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Disapora Affairs in Edo State, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, has said that all is set for the development of the Sokponba Resort as a French firm has indicated interest to lead the project.
Hon. Osemwegie-Ero disclosed this at the weekend during a chat with journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The Commissioner said the French company indicated interest to invest in the Sokponba Resort project, as the state government intends to attain some level of development at the Resort before the end of the year to create more awareness and attract even more investors for its development.
He said that the state is witnessing an influx of tourists since the rebranding of the tourism sector and opening up of more sites and tourists’ facilities. He added that last year’s EDO FEST and the opening of the tourists’ desks at the Benin Airport aided the increased interest in tourist sites across the state.
According to him, “After the successful hosting of the EDO FEST in December 2017, corporate organisations have indicated interest to be part of the 2018 edition. This will enable the state government host a bigger event this year. The state government plans to inaugurate a committee in May to begin preparation for the 2018 EDO FEST.”
He added that the Tourists’ Desks at arrival and departure lounges of the Benin Airport have aided the state government in attracting more tourists to the state, noting, “The ministry has continued to receive requests from visitors, who intend to visit different cultural sites in the state.”
He explained that the rationale for the Tourists’ Desks at the Airport is to create a platform for those who come to the state by air to see what tourist assets the state has to offer, adding, “It became necessary to communicate that we mean business when it comes to tourism. The state is blessed with several cultural heritage sites. Through the Information Desks, the state government has been able to showcase the state’s tourism potentials including different cultural sites, events and festivals.
Osemwegie-Ero explained that the Godwin Obaseki-led government intends to promote tourism by developing a tourism master plan for the state. He said a provision for this was made in the state’s 2018 budget, noting, “Consultants have been contacted to develop the plan, which will capture a list of tourist sites in the state and provide for routes and guides for tourists coming to the state.”
Noting that the new security architecture in the state would improve tourism, Osemwegie-Ero said, “Governor Obaseki’s synergy with the Police and other security agencies in the state has restored the confidence of tourists and investors who are now ready to come to Edo.”