THE Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipeku, Larooye 11, has advocated for integrated tourism calendar for Osun State and other states in the country.
This is coming on the heal of the unison call of the stakeholders in the tourism sector for the promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria.
Oba Oyetunji while speaking at the stakeholders’ forum for Osun Osogbo 2017 at his palace in Osogbo said having such synchronised tourism calendar will help increase participation of number of foreign tourists and enhance economic growth of the region.
“Virtually all the communities in our state have major cultural heritages or the other all these should be revived and repackaged in such a way that it will attract people for instance by the time we have Osun Osogbo festival here in Osogbo, few days later Ikirun should have another one, Iragbiji too should do its own and others too, this will make both local and foreign tourists to stay longer, spend more money and it will circulate.”
“By the time we do that, tourists will schedule their trip into this part of the country to that period when each communities will be having different festivals just like people do in Saudi Arabla. When we go for Hajj, any tourist coming here must spend at least a month and imagine how much they will inject into the economy of our communities.”
The monarch however commended the corporate sponsor for sustaining the relationship and ensuring that 2017 event holds despite the economic recession, “I know what the market says, it is obvious the sales is not encouraging at this moment in spite of the economic crisis, you did not abdicate your corporate social responsibilities, we are grateful and we are sure that God will reward you bountifully.”
In his remark, Otunba Ayo Olumoko, Executive Director of INFOGEM, the event consultant said the economic recession has forced some of the sponsor to back out while some including, MTN, Grand Oak Limited, Nigeria Breweries, Osun State government and Olokun Festival Foundation still retain their loyalty and commitment to the success of the festival.
Olumoko also disclosed that the Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed should be appreciated for his commitment towards the development and upliftment of culture and tourism as an avenue to generate revenue for the country.
“The grand finale of the festival is scheduled to hold on Friday 18 August, 2017 while Oroki Day will follow on Saturday 19 as directed by the king,” Olumoko said.