The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has said that his main purpose of seeking collaboration with the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA) was to stimulate economic
growth and development, assuring that he is optimistic that the collaboration will produce a workable marketing strategy to export our own cultural products.
Mr. Kiyaramo who stated this when he visited the Director General of Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA), Barr. Patience Ranami-Abah in her office on Tuesday in Yenagoa, maintained that tourism can boost the revenue profile of Bayelsa State, by creating thousands of jobs, as well as plant a sense of cultural exchange between tourists and the host communities.
According to Mr. Kiyaramo, the collaboration between the Bayelsa State Investment Promotion Agency and his office, would focus on developing new cultural products, geared towards increasing the visitor numbers and experience, with a view to improving accessibility, safety and quality assurance, reiterating that, with proper planning and effective marketing strategy put in place, Bayelsa can increase her tourism numbers.
The governor’s aide noted that working in collaboration with the Investment Promotion Agency, in partnership with other relevant ministries, agencies and departments, was the best way to achieve desired results, saying that the objective is to create synergy among critical stakeholders to carry out what he described as “indigenous products campaigns”.
Responding, the Director General of the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, Barr. Patience Ranami-Abah who also is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, noted that the collaboration was worthwhile, considering the fact that Bayelsa is home to several cultural products that could be packaged for export.
She also stressed the urgent need for stakeholders to come together to plan on how to explore the trade opportunities provided by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (Afcta) through awareness campaign on the rich biodiversity, eco-tourism, local cuisine, arts and crafts, music, dance and festivals.
Barr. Ranami-Abah reiterated on the need to look at the low hanging fruits within the tourism ecosystem and draw up a roadmap on how best to harness the business opportunities, calling on stakeholders to come up with business roundtables, workshops and conferences to properly articulate possible policies in a bid to forge a way forward to grow the tourism and hospitality sector in the state.