The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism and Facilitator of the South-South Tourism Roundtable Initiative, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has commended Governor Douye Diri for unveiling a new transport scheme with a fleet of 106 vehicles, informing that a good transportation system serves as a major catalyst in stimulating growth in the tourism sector of every economy.
Speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa on Wednesday against the backdrop of the unveiling of the 106 vehicles, comprising one hundred (100) cabs and six (6) luxury as part of measures to cushion the hardship being faced by commuters because of the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government, Dr. Kiyaramo maintained that it is impossible to think or dream of having a viable tourism sector without putting in place a good transportation system like what Governor Diri has just unveiled.
According to the governor’s aide, an effective and efficiently managed transportation system would link tourists with various attractions, including restaurants, resorts and amenities within the state or region, which will also act as stimulus in the growth, development and promotion of the tourism industry, adding that tourism expands more with a well organised transportation system in place.
The South-South Tourism Roundtable facilitator maintained that transportation, through its role of movement of goods and people, also influences other sectors of the local economy, including domestic tourism, noting that without an efficient transportation system, there won’t be a viable travel and tourism industry as people won’t have the means to reach places they desire to see.
“The significance of transport consists not only in the function it plays in the development of the socio-economic complex, but also has an important role in the amplification of the relations between cities, towns, states, regions or nations. Therefore, the development of transportation is linked to the development of tourism. If domestic tourism grows, regional transportation also grows.
“For tourists to reach their destinations, they have to choose between four main types of transportation means, road, rail, water or air, depending on many other factors. Tourism expands more efficiently when there are better transportation options in place for visitors to a destination.
For tourism to expand and grow in the south-south region, there is a need for the states to have efficiently managed transportation systems with a proper maintenance culture of existing facilities, including adequate security networks, among others.
“Tourism development can even grow bigger if more provisions are made in the various elements of our transportation systems with the region,” Dr Kiyaramo stated.
The SSA on Tourism called on all stakeholders from both public and private sectors in the south-south region, including the multinational oil and gas companies to be actively involved in the development of the tourism sector, which he noted, has the potential of opening up the economy to the global community for investments.
Dr. Kiyaramo further reiterated that many developed nations across the globe have taken advantage of tourism to cover their budget deficits to add more value to their economies, pointing out that, ‘that is why tourism is called ‘a factory without chimney’.
He stressed that the tourism sector has its own unique features that differentiates it from other sectors of the economy, saying that when tourism services are performed in destination that has a well developed transportation infrastructures such as good link road network, conducive vehicles, airport, rail, and water transport systems, the visitor’s experience becomes most memorable and indelible.