Tourism, according to Advanced Learners Dictionary, is the business activity connected with providing accommodation, services and entertainment for people who are visiting a place for pleasure.
The business of tourism today, is almost on a decline as tourist providers and government seem not to be interested in the business any longer.
But a latest research by analysts shows that tourist makers are still willing to continue in their business while they lack comfortable places to actually exhibit their trade.
Speaking on the way out, the Vice President of Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) Comrade Chinwendu Isaac ordunwa, said that the Rivers State Government should re-enter to the business and revive the sector.
Comrade Ordunwa stressed the need of the state government to revive especially Port Harcourt 200 Tourist Beach.
He explained that the tourist centres upon revival, will bring a huge income to the coffers of the state government and as well provide employment for the youths of the state.
Private individuals, he said can in the name of Private Public Partnership (PPP), invest in the business when they are convinced that the state government is willing to do business. According to him, no private investor is interested to invest in a meaningless venture but in a positive business where he/she is expected to make big gains at the end of the day.
The youth leader, pointed out that families were still interested in the business of sight-seeing during festive periods like Easter and Christmas holidays which offers the children the opportunity of making new friends. Now, he said, instead of the families staying home during those seasons, they take the children abroad for same reason.
The youth leader regretted that the money that was meant to be spent here at home go abroad, thereby, increasing their income whereas, the state’s purse remains slim year in year out.
He recalled how Empress and the Port Harcourt were a big tourist centres in the 70s and 80s, adding that the death ushered in crime which in turn has taken the place of tourism in the youths’ heart.
He also pointed out that the revival of the tourist centres, will automatically improve the life-partner of today’s youths who were not expressed to some humorous centres during their early age.
Apart from the revival of the existing tourist centres, he beckoned on the state to go extra miles and create more tourist centres in the state along Etche road in Etche Local Government Area and Eleme in Eleme Local Government Area saying that the area is too lonely.
He hinted that the rebirth of tourist centres will compete favourably with oil industries which has taking centre stage in the economy of the state and nation.
Stressing on the need for tourist centres rebirth, he cited countries like Kenya whom he said has almost the World’s centre of attraction and the major source of both income and employment generation for the country.
Another important aspect of the tourist centres, especially the 300, he said, is the preservation of wild lives from extinction.
Animals as common as monkeys, he explained, will soon disappear in the state unless a timely and a conscious intervention by concerned authorities.
According to him, as part of NDYC’s laid down plans, the youths body will in a hurry, introduce youth tourism clubs among the nine Niger Delta states which will empower youths and keep them away from violence, cultism and other societal ills.
Still on the need to boost tourism and to contribute to its revival, he said that the youth is working out modalities to partner with Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and establish a partnership with air operating so that when a tourist arrives any of the nine Niger Delta states, he/she would be announced on board.
Furthermore, he described tourism as part of the Niger Delta culture, saying that the region especially Rivers State has all it takes to sustain the trade (tourism), but lacks the technical know how to do about it.
Tourism development, the NDYC leader continued, has a huge potential as a revenue earner for the country, called on private individuals and in their own little ways, cultivate the habit of keeping little animals at their back yards in a bid to fast track the process.
King Onunwor/Itoro Akpan