Tourism Product For Week 23 is, ‘Simi Rimi’ Says Tourism Icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye.

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Simi Rimi, the floating bed on water, is Tourism Icon, Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye’s Tourism product for Week 23!

 

Elaborating on this, Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye disclosed that, the abundance of water features in Nigeria (rivers, lagoons, lakes and ponds), it becomes inevitable that Nigeria’s tourism offerings would include water sports.

He then went on to speak about ‘Simi Rimi’ which is a Yoruba term that means, ‘to rest or relax on water’. This item is a locally produced apparatus that falls into the category of water sports equipment. Equipments such as kayaks, hydro bikes, canoes surf boards and speed boats, which we normally think about when we think of ‘water sports’ and which, because they are usually imported, may be expensive to purchase.

Simi Rimi which resembles a floating canopy bed, is eco – friendly and constructed of material that is locally sourced.

The floaters that keep it suspended on top of the water are recycled vegetable oil plastic kegs while its bed frame is made from bamboo. The canopy is crafted from brightly coloured adire and each ‘Simi Rimi’ contains a talking drum which is used to signal for service and to warn other water users to give way.

As it is not propelled by an outboard engine it simply glides on the water and it’s movement is determined by the wind and water currents, though a paddle could be used to make it move in a particular direction.

Otunba Akinboboye mentioned that the Simi Rimis in his Resort (La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort) are popular with guests (especially couples) who want to lie back and relax while floating on top of the Resort’s freshwater lagoon and enjoying the cool ocean breeze.

Guests also have the opportunity to sip drinks and eat food while relaxing in their Simi Rimis and gliding on top of water.

Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye explained that, by creating Simi Rimi, he wanted to promote something that is unique to Nigeria and which could attract tourists in the same way that the gondolas of Venice attract tourists to that Italian city.

Additionally, Otunba Akinboboye mentioned that, in 2022, Venice made 2.3 billion Euros from it’s tourism industry. He also mentioned that the 240 boatmen licensed to steer the distinctive gondolas through the canals of Venice earned between US $65,000 to US $140,000 a year.

He noted further that, Venice is a perfect example of ‘taking advantage of your advantages’. In his opinion, this water logged city has used the water that was threatening to submerge its buildings to promote a romantic experience that had been successfully sold to the world. This is why people from all over the globe associates Venice with romance and a ride in a gondolier, as an epic romantic adventure.

Otunba Akinboboye observes that, because the materials used to manufacture Simi Rimi are sourced in Nigeria and even includes items normally considered waste (used Jerry cans) this ‘apparatus ’ is not as expensive as the usual water sports equipment.

Consequently, businesses that includes ‘Simi Rimi’ among their list of water sport apparatus, would be able to reduce their business costs, while providing employment for the local artisans that craft the Simi Rimis and the items used to produce their distinctive look.

He also indicated that this unique water sports item is aligned with the government’s push to reduce importation, increase manufacturing capacity, while creating employment and a unique Nigerian product that will be appreciated by both local and international tourists.

“We hope you found our insights into Simi Rimi as fascinating as we did and look forward to learning about the 29 future tourism products that will be discussed before this series comes to an end,” added Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye.

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