The President of Hotel Owners Association in Kwara state, Alhaji Dauda Akande, has explained why the association is campaigning for a Convention and Vistors Bureau (CVB) in the Kwara State Ministry of Communications.
In an interview with News Hub Mag! over the weekend, Akande disclosed that, “Kwara is ripe for a Convention and Vistors Bureau, infact it is long overdue and that is why we are pushing for it in the state.
“In developed climes they have the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Their primary responsibility is to promote this state so as to increase the number of meetings and leisure travelers to Kwara. They also do everything within their power to ensure that these people come back again to the state.
“For an example look at the NBA and NMA, any state where they host their convention will benefit in many ways because delegates will bring money, they will lodge, they will socialize and so on.”
According to him, a vibrant Convention and Visitors Bureau will help boost the economy of the state in many ways and everyone including government, hoteliers, entrepreneurs and others will benefit in numerous ways.
He told News Hub Mag! that a vibrant Convention and Visitors Bureau will encourage companies, associations and groups to bring their convention or meetings to the state and also sell the numerous tourists’ sites in the state to the outside world.
“Once that is done it, government will get more revenue from hotels because the hotels will sell more and there won’t be any excuse for not paying taxes,” he said.
On the membership of the Bureau, Akande stressed the need for people who are passionate and committed to promotion of tourism in the state.
While affirming the commitment of his members to the promotion of the tourism potentials of the state, the president of Hotel Owners in the state stressed the inalienable cordial relationship between tourism and hospitality industries.
“If you have an environment that attracts tourists, hotels will flourish so that is why whatever that will help the tourism industry in the state to grow we are ready to help out, no matter how small. We are always ready to partner the present administration in its efforts to develop the tourism industry in the state,” he stated.
Akande who agreed that developing the tourism industry is capital intensive however noted that partnering with the private sector is a short cut to developing the industry.
“How many governments will be ready to invest like one hundred million into a project that will not yield until maybe six or ten years? It is not possible, especially at this time of shortage of funds. So the best way and the short cut is to partner with the private sector.
“It is capital intensive to develop tourist sites but the reward is enormous in terms of revenue generation and so on but to have the political will to do it is the problem. We have a lot of tourist sites in the state which if fully developed fully the state will benefits, entrepreneurs, hoteliers and others too will benefit.
“Check out the Warm Spring in Ekiti state, they spent a lot of money but they are making serious money there because people will go there and there is no way you will be there and not lodge in hotels, buy artifacts and explore the state,” he said.