By Glory Edoni – Yenagoa Bayelsa State
It was indeed heartwarming news for indigenous musicians in Bayelsa state when the candidate of the All Progressives Party (APC) in the November 16 governorship polls in Bayelsa state Hon. David Lyon assured them of promoting indigenous music and dance when elected into office, come November 16, 2019.
David Lyon who stated this at a campaign rally in Aleibiri town in Ekeremor local government area over the weekend, while on his state-wide electioneering campaign to the area promised to give priority attention to the development of tourism and hospitality sector of the state’s economy through the promotion of traditional music and dance, describing traditional music and dance as great motivation for tourism promotion.
He however regretted that though music and dance play significant roles in promoting peace and unity in society, successive administrations have not given the sector due attention, as a driving force for peace building and unity, adding that “we all enjoy music when we are travelling, but never has music been considered as a primary source of travel and tourism”.
The philanthropist who is rated the most popular candidate in the race to Creek Haven, come November 16, assured indigenous musicians in the state that when elected into office, his administration will make deliberate efforts to develop and promote the cultural heritage of the people as a veritable platform to attract tourists to the state under a secure and peaceful environment.
“We shall start from the development of individual talents through capacity building trainings, to the promotion of local festivals, cuisine, dance, music and our rich cultural heritage, with a view to creating jobs for the youths” he reiterated.
On the other hand, traditional dances are the product of cultural behaviors and traditions, created by inhabitants living in a specific region. Every dance has its special characteristics, such as who are allowed to participate in it or prohibited from performing a dance, the number of performers/dancers, the costumes worn, and at what kind of events a dance can or should be performed.
These unique aspects make traditional dances become one of the important elements of local identity. Therefore, traditional dances can be applied as a method to promote tourism, in addition to luring visitors/tourists to come and experience the distinctiveness of the destination directly.
According to Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, “music is a tool to enhance destinations and better tell their stories.”
“Whether live or recorded, experiencing the music of the world is celebrating its rich diversity and talent, promoting intercultural dialogue and encouraging exchange”, says Julian Guerrero, Vice-President of Tourism, ProColombia.
It will be recalled that the music industry, from streaming, to live music, is growing at twice the rate of the global economy at the moment.