by crossriverwatch admin
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke has flagged off the unveiling of state new tourism drive that is expected to put the ‘paradise state’ on the global tourism map and bring the state’s munificent tourism potentials to the glare of the global community.
At the unveiling ceremony in Lagos Thursday, Governor Liyel Imoke said “Cross River State wants to be known and recognised as a tourism product and fly with it, not just as a destination, but as a brand”.
Imoke reiterated the commitment of his administration to properly situate tourism as a major economic plank in the state’s developmental drive, adding that the ongoing campaign is the first step his government is taking to ensure that tourism takes the centre stage in Cross River State.
He said: “The government has commenced a strategic marketing campaign and we are doing it in earnest. What we unveiled today is government’s bold statement on promoting tourism as a major revenue earner for the state”.
According to the governor, “our government is packaging the state as a tourism destination, a brand new image that relates specifically to tourism. Cross River State government’s commitment has moved from potential to action”.
While courting the partnership of the private sector, Imoke gave captains of the sector who were present reasons why his administration has continued to invest heavily in the sector. He said: “We have decided to make tourism the key pillar upon which we will build our economic development drive, which is why we continue to invest heavily on tourism infrastructure. A lot of tourism potentials have been discovered in Cross River State and by implication Nigeria. Today, we launch a strategic tourism marketing campaign and unveil the new Cross River State Tourism plan. This launching is to demonstrate the commitment of the state government and further showcase that we mean business by inviting you to join hands with us as partners”.
“The state is poised to tap into one per cent of the country’s teeming population of 167,000,000 people. And what this means is that at the end of the day, Cross River State will be playing host to 1.67 million people yearly who will come for leisure and relaxation. This will positively impact on our overall GDP”.
Governor Imoke told the gathering which attracted a large turnout of investors and media executives, as well as Guiness Nigeria Plc., First Bank and Dangote Group, sponsors of the Calabar Carnival that “we have moved from selling the yearly Calabar Festival to selling the state as a destination for leisure and relaxation and promoting tourism as the mainstay of the state’s income earner. We are deeply committed to creating value for investors whom we are challenging to come and invest their resources in what the state is offering as a tourist haven. I know a lot of people will say that government has no business doing business. That should have been done by the private sector or business, but we want to again restate our position that as a responsible and committed government, we really have business to create the enabling environment and infrastructure for private sector to key into and drive the state as a tourist destination”
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