Tourism Icon, Wanle Akinboboye Releases Tourism Product No. 25, ‘Simi Rigi’.

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Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye has apologized for the slight delay in revealing this week tourism product and gave his assurances that he is still committed to his release of 52 products over a 52 week period, as promised.

This week’s product he said, is, ‘Simi Rigi.’ Though different, but aligned with, the two previous products (Simi Rimi and Ijoko Rimi) which he has spoken about earlier. As it also involves taking advantage of your advantages.

He indicated that the product under discussion was fabricated from materials that could be easily sourced in Nigeria and so was relatively inexpensive to make. It could also be fabricated in an eco – friendly manner using recycled plastic chairs. He noted that the product, unlike the earlier products, was land based and would appeal to those who wanted to try new things but were nervous of being on water.

Otunba Akinboboye noted that, whenever a tourism site or destination is established, wherever people would sit, becomes a key consideration. This is because visitors to such sites / destinations would not want to remain on their feet for prolong periods. It is therefore essential to provide tourists with the ability to get off their feet and rest and relax while they enjoy whatever scenery the location has to offer.

Even in Disney amusement parks, where every child’s goal is to explore the numerous wonders of the park, there are numerous seating areas which recognizes the desire of parents to sit down, relax and gain their second wind during a fun filled day of activities.

Otunba Akinboboye mentioned that, in the the US, the Carribbean and Europe, it is common to see rows of beach chairs and loungers on public beaches. These items are generally hired out, on a hourly or daily basis, and provides income for their owners. These chairs were made from various materials that included bamboo, plastic and Fibre glass .

Otunba Akinboboye noted that the global beach chair market size in 2022 was estimated to be worth USD 223 million and it has been forecasted that it will increase to USD 339.3 million by 2028. He also mentioned that the US is the biggest purchaser of beach chairs in the world, which is understandable when one considers that, the USA has 5,525 public beaches totaling more than 5,000 miles of shoreline

The value of this market, underscores the fact that, when people go to the beach, seating is a mandatory requirement.

By fabricating our own seating in Nigeria with an African twist, we will save foreign exchange and align our behaviour with the slogan SaveNaira #BuyNigerian

He noted that the requirement for seating in tourist attractions is not confined to beaches alone. The existence of seating is also essential wherever there is a attraction that provides a view or vista that people can quietly enjoy in the same spot, whether such spot is near a waterfall, mountain or lake.

He elaborated that the name of this Product ‘Simi Rigi’ was coined from Yoruba language and means ‘Rest on Trees’. This name gives a nod to the fact that the product consists of a plastic chair suspended from a tree by ropes and covered by a large ankara umbrella that provides shade from both the sun and rain.

Otunba Akinboboye noted that the positioning of the chair portion of this Simi Rigi meant that the user’s feet were slightly elevated above the ground and that the seat would swing gently in the wind. This would enhance the user’s experience, as they were gently rocked by the breeze while communing with nature and feasting their eyes on the view

He noted that, although essentially the seating portion of the Simi was a plastic chair, which was generic to all countries, the fact that it was suspended from a tree by ropes and shaded by an ankara umbrella meant it had been customized to give it an ‘African flavour’ that set it aside from the usual seating available in recreational venues in other parts of the world.

He noted that as the Product’s fabrication costs are relatively low, youths could erect these chairs on beaches, rivers and other natural features that tourists would find attractive for rest and relaxation. In this manner, they could generate a steady income especially at weekends and on public holidays.

Otunba Akinboboye said that products like this would provide a low monetary entry point for young tourism entrepreneurs, who can start their businesses hiring Simi Rigis and subsequently expand their business to other tourism products over the years as they build up capital.
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In conclusion, he noted that it is important to know that tourism provides different entry points for the young entrepreneurs that would offer the tourism experiences that would grow Nigeria into a tourism destination of choice .

If all tourism products required extensive capital outlay we would not be able to offer the variety of experiences, that will be required, to convince tourists, that Nigeria is a tourism destination with a variety of unique experiences to keep them occupied during the period they visit the country.

Akinboboye said that he hopes that, this week’s tourism product stimulates all, and inspires some young entrepreneurs, to be encouraged to take it up and offer Simi Rigi in our existing beaches and beauty spots.

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