THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has drawn the attention of Nigerians and government at all levels to cultural tourism describing it as an integral part of the nation’s economy with direct positive impact on the people.
Oba Adeyeye, who stated this during the official inauguration of MYDAS hotel and conference hall in Owo, Owo local government area of Ondo State, at the weekend said cultural tourism serves as an alternative source of revenue in the face of the dwindling oil price and economic challenges facing the country.
The monarch noted that the country’s economy is built around oil while there are other sectors and said cultural tourism, when properly accessed, can be used to create wealth, empower the people and generate employment.
Oba Ogunwusi said Nigeria is blessed with many tourist attractions which have been suffering from neglect but said investing in this sector will further showcase the cultural heritage of the country to the world and will also boost the country’s GDP.
He said tourism is an everlasting product that serves as alternative source of revenue and discourages over-dependence on perishable and exhaustible products like oil. It is, also, an alternative source of income.
“Cultural tourism is just to show case our heritage and our culture to the world. Our people depend so much on government for everything. Private sector should take the first lead. Look at what happened here today. It is 100 per cent private sector. Let private sector come in.
“We have the most richest culture in the world, but the challenges is for the people to come and fact find our cultural heritage for us. The major impediment is comfort, that is, where they would stay in the entire land.
“All over the world, the private sector is the engine room of any economy. So as a result, when private sector starts UNESCO and government can come to support. My belief is that we don’t need to depend on government for everything.
“If you go to South Africa, their economy is been driven by tourism. Gambia doesn’t have crude oil, the entire France doesn’t have crude oil and if you go to all the Caribbean island, they don’t have crude oil. Yet their GDP is even better than Nigeria who have crude oil.
“If we have more places like this , both in the North, South, West and the East, people will be moving from one point to the other. This will even boost our GDP.