South South Tourism Roundtable Facilitator Commends Gov. Bassey Otu for Providing Financial Support to Hotels in Calabar
By Bridget Oroupua Sapere-Obi
Chairman, Board of Trustees of BRACED Tourism Promotion & Development Initiative (BTPDI) and Facilitator of South South Tourism Roundtable, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has commended Cross River State governor Senator Prince Edet Bassey Otu for providing financial grants to some hotels in Calabar, ahead of Africa’s biggest street party, the Calabar Carnival.
Dr. Kiyaramo made the commendation in a virtual discussion with Deputy Director of Mobilisation and Contacts of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Food & Cultural Festival) Uyo, Amb. Godwin Ibiang described the cheering news of the governor’s magnanimity of providing grants worth 10 million Naira to hotels as an indication of his hospitality friendly policies.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, noted that the hospitality industry is important as it contributes to the growth of the local economy in providing employment opportunities for the people, informing that “in terms of social development, the industry alleviates socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, inequality, and poverty by creating job opportunities and social value locally.”
Dr. Kiyaramo however, lamented that despite the social and economic relevance of the sector, there are gaps when it comes to tourism policies, adding that there has been insufficient understanding of policies, just as there is obvious lack of commitment to the tourism and hospitality industry, particularly among the South South states, reiterating that the tourism sector could fund a huge percentage of our Gross Domestic Product in helping to raise income and earn foreign currencies through goods and services.
He explained that the South South Tourism Roundtable is a coalition of leaders in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector with a large membership, including representatives of airlines, hotels, boards of trade, and chambers of commerce who are committed to working together to regig the sector to function smoothly and safely in the region.
“The South South Tourism Roundtable advocates a safe and prosperous travel and tourism sector across the six south south states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Rivers.
“The tourism and hospitality industry is a critical economic sector which provides countries and regions with economic growth and social development.
Tourism is considered to be a vital driver for the United Nations 2030 Agenda’s goals, which calls for policy implementation and promotion of sustainable development.
“I like to call on those saddled with the responsibility of policy making in the tourism and hospitality sector to give more attention to policy formulation, particularly in ecological conservation and which is highly relevant and meaningful.
Amb. Ibiang had briefed Dr. Kiyaramo that Cross River State Governor, Prince Bassey Otu doled out N10 million naira as grant to selected ten hotels in Calabar, as part of measures to assist the owners to prepare for the Calabar Carnival in December.