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CULTURE AND TOURISM

Need to boost Anambra’s tourism

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TOURISM, according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary is regarded as a “source of income for a country, business. It described a tourist as a person who makes a tour for pleasure.

According to a publication by the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication, titled: Nigeria in the 90’s,“tourism is a world-wide activity. It enables the individual, usually a visitor, to make new discoveries, to learn new aspects of life, experience and see firsthand centres of attractions that he might have read in Journals or remotely heard about. In short, through tourism, the individual gets to know about the world and the diverse culture of humans”.

In present day world economy, the publication stressed— “tourism occupies a vantage position with strong indications of even a better spot in the next century apart from its basic contributions to the development, international trade and mutual understanding among nations”.

Now, that APGA led government is in its second tenure as the in Anambra State, tourist sites should be developed and former ones upgraded to meet international standard because these sites occupy a prime spot as a veritable source of income to the government and Nigeria as a nation.

Take for example, according to Classic Travel Magazine, March/April 2001, Palm Beach Island, Florida, USA,  was first visualized by Henry Morrison Flagler, a founding partner of standard oil, as a winter paradise for the nation’s most wealthy citizens”.

The publication, informed that— Palm Beach is the home of business HQs such as Dupont and General Motors and seasonal residents ranging from celebrities and millionaires, retired citizens living the American dream. It is most popular between November and May when the coldest temperature is around 40c.”

According to the same Classic Travel publication, Palm Beach is where Americans aspire to be – the all year round sunshine state and home to the island of Palm-Beach — one of the richest communities in the world. Contained entirely on a barrier island, it is home to some of the world’s best known families, first visualized by Henry Morrison Flagler, a founding partner of standard oil with Rock Feller-as a winter paradise for the nation’s wealthy”.

After building the Florida East Coast railway system, the publication informed, Flagler went on to build two hotel palaces on the Island- the Royal Poinciana and now famed, The Breakers’ Resort- and his winter home, White Hall (now a museum and national historic landmark),. Since then, Palm Beach has been a permanent destination for world ‘s rich and famous”.

Still on Palm Beach, shopping opportunities in Palm Beach County reflect its affluence. The renowned Worth Avenue on Palm Beach Island, Florida’s Rodeo Drive, is a haven of designer stores attracting celebrities, multi-millionaires and visitors alike.

Our able governor, Chief Wille Obiano is understandably in the fore front of developing our tourist sites and building new ones.

After all, Baxter said, “if you would have good servants see that you be good masters.” Emerson said, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Agulu Lake Resort Hotel is one in the governor’s effort to see that tourism in state is developed to international standard and is a right step in the right direction.

It is not enough to read about great tourist attractions in Nigeria. Share the experience of a venture into Ogbunike cave. There are tourist attractions in the Iguedo clan of which most important is the Ogbunike cave. The cave is of historic interest. It is believed to be home of the early man and stone age in this part of the world. The cave is some kilometers west of Oye Olisa on the old Onitsha-Enugu Road. It is near St Monica’s College and the sign board on the tarred road reads appropriately enough, “Historic Ogbunike cave “.

Set in a beautiful natural environment, the cave is surrounded by a chain of hill capped with green pastures stretching over a vast area of land. It attracted very large visitors into and out of the dark inner recesses of the cave. Few brave hearts ventured into it beyond a short distance from the entrance for fear of being devoured by wild animals. People who have visited the cave are startled by its size and exotic scenery.

Anambra State Government intended in the past to develop the cave into tourist centre. Apart from its revenue eanring potential, it would make great historical appeal to those who do not see anything in terms of money.  It is worth any investment made for its development as an international tourist centre.

To create jobs for our teaming population, private entrepreneurs and investors can as well venture into and help the present government under the watch of Chief Willie Obiano to develop and build new tourist centres. This will enable our children have places to relax and enjoy themselves during holidays, especially long vacations, Christmas and Easter holiday breaks.

According to Readers Digest, June 2004, writing on “Incredible India!  Gustasp and Jeroo Irani revealed, Rajasthan— the land of festivals— “the magnificent land of Rajasthan has always been fascinating to the people across the globe with its heart capturing beauty and natural serenity. To add to the colours, this land of valour has always mesmerized the people with its culture of celebrations and festivity,

Moreover the same publication informed that, “tradition still continues to breathe life in Rajasthan. To showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state; Rajasthan Tourism has initiated an array of festivals for tourists. It has also included a variety of competitions and activities in its repertoire of festivals to interest the visitors.

The state government can see what has happened here and replicate same in our state—The Light of the Nation— in order to boost tourism industry and potentials in our state.

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