*Kwara State, the Heart of Tourism in Nigeria - Towoju*

The Kwara State Commissioner for Communications, Hon. Olabode George Towoju has reiterated the government's effort on Tourism in the state, while highlighting the necessary steps to be taken to foster sustainable growth and development.

Towoju gave this submission on the occassion of World Tourism Day,
 commemorated each year on 27 September, to create awareness among the international communities of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

The date designated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with the theme "Rethinking Tourism" will give all stakeholders the opportunity to rethink tourism for a more sustainable and resilient sector.

The Commissioner emphasized that tourism is one of the fastest growing sector in the world with huge and tremendous expansion, whose importance cannot be exaggerated in terms of its ability to boost revenue, and create jobs.

In his words, "tourism has the capability and competency to create thousands of jobs directly at tourist sites and indirectly in tourist allied establishment, develop infrastructure of host communities and increase cultural exchange amidst foreigners and citizens.

"The UNWTO had resolved to closely encourage stakeholders globally towards 'Rethinking Tourism', thus debating how we can restart tourism to ensure we overcome the pending challenges within the sector, as well as devise ways to make tourism the central drivers of other growth within the economy," he submitted.

Towoju further advised all stakeholders to reflect and ''think outside the box'' to strategize what should be done in order to bring about necessary amendment for the sectors.

He noted that there will be need to restructure the different business units within the sector by working more for and with the youths, women, communities, private sectors, and concentrating on domestic tourism.

Towoju stressed that Kwara State has mapped out activities such as free exhibition of tourist sites, discussion on tourism in the state, health walk, entertainment and briefing on the achievement of the state Governor.

The Commissioner appreciated the Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his efforts at harnessing the tourism potentials and transforming the existing tourism site in the state to a better status.

According to him, "His Excellency has provided an enabling environment to attract private investors to the state, as well as introduced measures of ease of doing business within the state.

"He has almost completed the construction of the magnificent Tourism projects tagged, "Ilorin Visual Arts Centre", reconstructed the road which leads to the first museum in Nigeria (Esie Museum) and constructions of the "film village" for actors and actresses, rehabilitation of the flower garden, amidst others," he concluded.

Towoju restated that the laudable projects will boost the tourism and hospitality sector in the state, and as well attract investors and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state government.

Oluwafemi Samuel Adeoye,
Asst. Press Secretary,


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