Enugu tourism stakeholders yesterday advised the state government how it can grow the Coal City State as a tourism destination.

The stakeholders met Culture and Tourism Commissioner, Dame Ugochi Madueke in an interactive session she convened to explore partnership potentials.

She told them that the State is willing and ready to promote tourism and move it “to the next level.”

The meeting took place at the Conference Hall Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The administration is interested in developing Enugu as a tourism destination, given its diversified tourist assets, she said.

Before they spoke, she noted that security is critical to the quest but expressed confidence that the Governor’s effort will shortly arrest the insecurity challenge.

Here’s what the stakeholders said to government.

Tourism and culture stakeholders meet with Mrs. Madueke

Engage Nollywood directors, investors, scriptwriters

Uche Agbo, National Vice-President of Directors Guild, prefaced his comments with commendation to Gov Ndubuisi Mbah on  Mrs Madueke’s appointment.  She is “a round peg in a round hole,” he said.

Agbo said government could encourage hospitality owners to offer rebates on their services to encourage more Nollywood presence in Enugu. Film producers will come in their numbers if they enjoy discount lodging and are given direct access to tourism sites like Awhum Waterfall and Ngwo Pine Forest among others.

Guild Secretary in the Enugu State chapter, Peter Oramuru suggested intermittent meetings and conferences with Nollywood and other stakeholders. This will promote tourism and build revenue for the state, he said.

Chairman Enugu Nollywood Forum, Mr Brown Eneh, agreed with Oramuru, on government creating opportunity to have conversations with Nollywood investors. He also suggested that government could sponsor script writers to create location-specific content that will appear in the big screens to promote the tourism potentials of the state.

Partner with donor agencies for funding

Agbo also advised government to partner with donor agencies to take care of the funding of tourism development projects. This will draw film producers to the state and in turn create Job opportunities for the people of Enugu state.

Renovate degraded street artworks

Oramulu said artists should be engaged to do a facelift of some of the artworks dotted all over the state capital. Renovation of the fading and faded sculptures will improve the experience of visitors and tourists in the City, he said.

Do Media Promotions

The Zonal Coordinator of Nigerian Tourism Development Agency, Mr Shaibu Ebiloma advised the State government to promote the tourism assets. It must do this if it hopes to create positive tourism impacts He recommended radio, television jingles and programmes as well as newspaper advertising. This will attract investors and the national board to visit Enugu.

The Executive Secretary Enugu State council for art and Culture Mr Laurence Ani stated that government should encourage Arts exhibition and initiate monthly stage Live theatre.

Making a paradigm shift

Mr. Laurence Ani, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Council for Arts and Culture, said the government’s vision for culture and tourism was a clear departure from the perfunctory lip service the sector typically got in the past. It’s shaped by the governor’s conviction that the sector could be a major income stream for the state if its resources are well-developed, he said.

“The plan includes revitalizing the hospitality sub-sector, completing the International Conference Centre, rehabilitation and concession of Presidential Hotel and Nike Lake Resort, and giving our numerous tourist sites the needed makeover.”

He added that the vision includes, as well, holding regular stage plays and art exhibitions

Enugu as tourism destination

Commissioner Madueke, in her response, said government

  1. Can guarantee “affordable rebate” at Nike Lake Resort for Nollywood stakeholers and other investors visiting for Culture and Tourism-related businesses.
  2. Will create Tourism committees in all the Local Government in the state and train them to serve as tourist Guides to the tourist sites.
  3. Intends to move beyond the lone Cultural Dance Troupe concept to build Enugu into an entertainment hub that includes live theatre, live bands, and wholesome support for arts.
  4. Partner with Enugu State indigenes in Nollywood industry so that their cumulative efforts will assist the effort to move Culture and Tourism in the State to a greater height.
Meeting participants
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