As Nigeria has almost 844 kilometers of beach front, across six (6) states of the Federation, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye believes that we can leverage on this natural feature to promote a tourism product that connects our beach front states, while giving a taste of one of the many things Nigeria has to offer to tourists and adventure seekers.
Otunba Akinboboye mentions that the Beach Safari product will be weaved around the journey, our culture, our food and sporting activities. It will therefore offer a completely different experience than regular inter – state road travel.
Otunba Akinboboye indicated that his company; La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resorts will be commencing its beach safaris with a journey that traverses the beach fronts of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states.
The beach safari will make use of transport that can easily move on sand and includes Quad Bikes, Motor cycles (Okadas) Jeeps and Horses.
The beach trail that forms the route for the beach safari will be lit up at night by solar lights, while security will be provided via security watch towers and rapid response teams.
There are rest areas along the trail which will offer food and entertainment that showcases our African roots and heritage. It is envisaged that each rest area will be named and serve a particular food item for example – Dodo, Akara, Iyan (pounded yam) Amala and so on.
These rest areas will contain cabanas, tents and mats that guests can rent to rest on and chat, while watching performances by African dancers and musicians. Local craftsmen will also maintain small stalls that offer souvenirs.
Otunba Akinboboye mentioned that there are six lagoon along the Lagos – Ogun – Ondo beach trail and that these will provide venues for water sports like kayaking, hydro biking, jet skiing, boating and so on.
Otunba Akinboboye also mentioned the friendliness of the local communities that are traversed by the beach safari route. He recounted how school children rush out to the beach front and wave enthusiastically whenever they see a convoy of Okadas, Quad bikes and Horses passing by.
“This adds to the uniqueness of a product that takes full advantage of the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, the beautiful palm trees and bird life and the vibrant rural communities that are eager to greet you,” The tourism icon said.
Benefits of the Product :
Otunba Akinboboye believes that every tourism product must ultimately have benefits for both the tourism industry and the economy. He mentions the following benefits of this product :
1. It adds to the suite of products that are required to make Nigeria a tourism destination. He explains that when tourists visit any country they want to be exposed to a variety of unique experiences. Consequently, any country that is serious about tourism creates a variety of experiences from which tourists can pick and choose to build their own unique travel experience.
2. As the cost of travelling abroad has become more expensive for Nigerians, it provides a unique experience for domestic tourists to build into their vacation repertoires.
3. It creates business opportunities for small scale businesses and entrepreneurs who can buy into the product by handling some of the items that form part of this tourist package. So for example, young entrepreneurs could offer their personal Okadas, Quad bikes and SUVs for rental during tours to earn an income stream, while local caterers/agoyins could take responsibility for the food offered at the rest stops.
4. It will provide direct employment opportunities to local communities as many of the jobs required for this product do not require a particular standard of formal education. This means they can be handled by a population that is yet to achieve higher educational qualifications.
5. It will provide opportunities for African artistes to show case their instrumental and vocal skills, as entertainment on the safari will focus on giving a unique African entertainment experience.
6. It will provide an opportunity for local craftsmen to showcase their goods as tourists are well – known for purchasing local crafts to retain tangible memories of their holiday experiences.
7. It will create a holistic value chain that will directly and indirectly benefit many Nigerians.
We hope you have enjoyed hearing about this week’s tourism product.