Abasi Ita, Calabar
As parts of measures to revamp the Tourism Sector in Cross River with a view of regaining its lost glory, Cross River Tourism Bureau has unveiled a short-term innovative concept as a means of kick starting activities in the sector.
The new Managing Director, Cross River Tourism Bureau, Mr Ojoi Ekpenyong who unveiled the package during a media briefing in Calabar opined that the emergency measures have become imperative to reclaim the fast eroding glory of the Tourism sector attributable to systematic decay which crippled the sector in previous years.
He hinted that :”The carefully drafted agenda is meant to stimulate public-private engagement, attract funders, and reposition the state as the premium tourism destination in the country”
In his words; The dynamic short-term plan is aimed at reigniting the tourism sector, fostering private sector engagement, while reaffirming our commitment to making Cross River a premier tourist hub in sub-sahara Africa and beyond”
“We intend to leverage our rich cultural events and festivals to enrich our tourism content , and by so doing stimulate the inflow of needed traffic capable of jump-starting the once flamboyant sector which attracted International accolades and recognition”
Mr Ekpenyong outlined the interim options to include strengthening stakeholders’ participation through robust synergy, branding existing tourism attractions for the global limelight, encouraging private sector investment to complement government efforts as well and capacity building to drive aggressive marketing campaigns expected to rekindle public interest.
Others projected by the Bureau are floating of tourism information centers for public input, effective partnership with tour operators and travel agents, the introduction of a Tourism Ambassador programme to serve as a brand marketer, and a quality assurance mechanism to promote global best practices in the sector.
He stressed that ;”The approach is a quick-fix formula produced from rigorous deliberations and is meant to guarantee smart tangible results which will provide a launching pad for an elaborate concept reflecting the vision and aspirations of the new administration christened, the season of sweetness”
He expressed appreciation to the state Governor, Senator Bassey Otu for affording him the privilege to contribute his quota to the tourism ecosystem of the state courtesy of his appointment as the Managing Director of the Bureau.