The Principal Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of the State of Bayelsa on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo, advocated the inauguration of the South-South Tourism Roundtable and stressed that “harnessing the potential of regional economic cooperation is essential to the geopolitical zone. promote economic growth, trade, job creation and improvement of the quality of life of citizens.
Mr. Kiyaramo, who said this when he visited Akwa Ibom Tourism and Hotel Management Board Chairman Sir Ini Akpabio at his office in Uyo last week in preparation for holding the 1st Round Table of Tourism of the State of Akwa Ibom, pointed out that economic corridors and value chains that cross borders can be promoted jointly by South-South states.
The assistant governor noted that economic cooperation between the South-South states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers would forge a stronger platform for tourism development and commercialization of the rich biodiversity in the states.
He added that this cooperation for integration will greatly contribute to creating effective commercial connectivity between the states, through collaboration, alliances and duly coordinated physical investments with a view to harmonizing policies and procedures among the states that make up the area.
The SSA argued that, “Ultimately, an integrated South-South market with the necessary economies of scale to compete in international markets may emerge, given the abundance of natural resources in the region, ranging from a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, arable land and water salivating local kitchens.
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Others include wildlife, historic sites, cultural festivals, arts and crafts, museums, galleries, monuments, pristine sandy beaches, and underwater cultural heritage sites.
He reiterated that meaningful regional cooperation can help the South-South region achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and lamented that a single focus on national economic strategies and actions has apparently diverted attention from critical regional actions. necessary to promote energy. the SDGs related to food and water security; strengthen environmental sustainability; address climate change; and prevent natural disasters in the region.
In response, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Hotel and Tourism Management Board, Sir Ini Akpabio, commended the initiative of a South-South Tourism Roundtable to network among stakeholders from the six states, noting that such cooperation it will improve trade and integration, in addition to building peace in the region.
Sir Akpabio, who reiterated the historical ties between the states of Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom, said that the people of Bayelsa are very hospitable people, adding that his board will encourage efforts aimed at regional cooperation and integration for the development and promotion of tourism. .
The president said that Akwa Ibom state is endowed with mild weather conditions throughout the year, hospitable people, lush vegetation, rich cultural heritage and beautiful beaches.
Other endowments of the state include natural rolling landscapes, arable land, salivating cuisines, tourist attractions, a good road network, infrastructure, standard hospitality facilities, a peaceful environment, and a safe environment for business.