The Lagos State Government on Monday revealed it making preparations to play key role when France President visits Nigeria in July this year.
Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, at the annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, disclosed that the State Government would be playing a key role during the visit of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who is scheduled to visit Nigeria and also Lagos later in July this year, adding that the Ministry of Tourism had held series of meeting with the French Ambassador as well as the representatives of the French President to facilitate the visit.
Ayorinde said that Lagos State Tourism Master Plan has adequately captured the potentials of spiritual or religious tourism, adding that the primary concern of government was to ensure that the infrastructure and enabling environment to drive tourism development was fully in place.
The Commissioner said the Master Plan, which would be ready by the end of May 2018, was geared toward showcasing the State as major tourism destination across the world.
Ayorinde narrated that the long term strategic master plan, which is being prepared by Messrs Ernst & Young, will focus on six sectors including Culture and Heritage, Film, Art and Entertainment, Business Tourism, Nature and Adventure, Medical and Wellness, Beach and Leisure.
The Commissioner noted that though the Master Plan is not explicit in the multi billion naira generated by tourists visiting the State for spiritual purposes on a yearly basis, he said that every area of tourism had been adequately provided for in the document.
“If you look at the six sectors in broad terms, you will see that they have captured every area of tourism as far as business development and promotion are concerned and the interest of government is to develop the ecosystem of tourism, the practitioners, the tour operators everybody who has been involved over the years, will basically drive their businesses.
“But what government is interested in is to say that in the first two years after we have released the tourism master plan, what are the things that we need get done, what sort of policies should guise us, do we require any tweaking in the existing policies and programmes, who do we speak to, where do we seek money and who should we identify and those six pillars that our consultants have identified, frankly speaking has captured everywhere.
“Visitors, who come in for spiritual tourism, most times come for conferences, for spiritual healing and exhibition. It shouldn’t matter to the State what you have come for, what matters to the State is that visitors are coming, when they come, they see our city, they sleep in our hotels, they buy our foods, etc. So it’s all about tourism and entertainment,” Ayorinde said.