by crossriverwatch admin
As the Obudu International Mountain Race ended yesterday with thrills, one of the downside of the yearly event was the inadequate infrastructure, particularly accommodation to carter for the number of visitors who graced the event from across the globe.
In his remark yesterday after the race, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Effiok Cobham said one of the challenges that faced the championship this year, was infrastructure. Cobham said there was need for the government to put more infrastructures on ground to take care of accommodation problems.
In the same line, an eco-tourism activist and Executive Director of Rainforest Reserve and Development Centre, RRDC Mr. Odey Oyama has also identified the provision of recreational assets, accommodation and eco-resort settlement being offered by the Cross River State Government in specific locations of eco-tourism interest across the State as been grossly undermined.
In a memo to the Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, obtained by crossriverwatch, Odey said: “The nature of accommodation and recreational facilities presently made available by the public and private sectors across the State in all locations of tourism interests are none existent, and way below international standards”.
“The question at present is whether the privatized Metropolitan Hotel at Ikom and Ogoja, as well as other such private facilities are adequate to support the much cherished tourism industry. The Agbokim Waterfalls with its unique landscape of outstanding natural beauty is neglected and presently under grave danger of degradation. Continuous decline in the supporting forest environment, increasing local population, unplanned property and plantation farms development are rapidly endangering this beautiful landscape”.
He called on the government to commence a series of baseline surveys to be carried out to support the efforts of the Cross River State Government in the promotion of the Tourism Industry.
He said: “Our interest in this matter is that, in the tourism Industry, international tourist market is extremely sensitive to the recreational assets being offered by the host country. The Cross River State Government must therefore appreciate the highly competitive nature of the world tourism market in this regard. Essentially, the experience of tourists is often influenced by all features of the host country and its economy, but particularly by accommodation and/or eco-resort settlement made available. Failures often occur when vital factors among others is being undermined. Once this expectation is not met, then the development of a sustainable tourism programme is constrained ab-initio”.
The RRDC offered to assist the state government towards developing an appropriate tourism master plan for the state, with particular reference to recreational assets, including accommodation and eco-resort settlement.
Mr. Odey said the Centre will begin by conducting investigations to provide baseline data necessary for tourism development planning. They will evaluate the situation in-situ and share outcomes with government and in the final analysis, a summit to brainstorm on the outcome of these studies will be recommended.
They expressed hope that the government will embrace the initiative as that will strengthen and amplify the efforts and bring greater success for the benefit of Cross River State.
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