By Angula Bishop Reuben

Benue State, Nigeria – His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, the Executive Governor of Benue State, delivered a compelling address on Wednesday, 27th September, 2023, as part of the United Nations World Tourism Day celebrations. The event centered on the theme “Tourism and Green Investments,” emphasizing the importance of sustainable tourism and its potential for economic growth and environmental conservation.

In his address, Governor Alia highlighted the critical role tourism plays in the modern world, citing its social, political, financial, and cultural significance. He emphasized that World Tourism Day, observed annually on 27th September, serves as a platform to raise global awareness about the importance of tourism and address challenges outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The theme “Tourism and Green Investments” was chosen for its alignment with post-Covid-19 recovery strategies and the UNWTO’s priorities. Governor Alia called for international collaboration involving governments, multilateral financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors to develop innovative tourism investment strategies.

Governor Alia noted that approximately 40% of people in various countries worldwide, including Nigeria, derive their livelihoods from the travel and tourism sector. This fact underscores the government’s commitment to promoting tourism in Benue State.

To harness the sector’s potential fully, Governor Alia encouraged investors and stakeholders in tourism to engage actively in its development. He highlighted the state’s serene climate, welcoming culture, and numerous natural attractions, making Benue State a preferred tourism destination.

Among the natural sites mentioned by the Governor were Ikwe Holiday Resort/Wildlife in Gwer East LG, Mkar Hills in Gboko LG, Ngokur Hills in Kwande, Akata Fishing and Cultural Festival in Katsina-Ala LG, Ogege River Confluence, Enemabia Warm Spring, Traditional Iron Smelting furnaces, Dajo Pottery, Makurdi Zoological Garden, River Benue Beach, Ai-Okpe Pilgrimage Centre, and the Agasha Confluence of Rivers Taraba/Katsina-Ala in Guma LG.

Governor Alia urged investors and stakeholders to participate actively in the development of tourism businesses in Benue State, emphasizing that this endeavor would create employment opportunities and contribute to the state’s overall development.

In closing, Governor Alia welcomed all to the world of tourism, emphasizing that it is a sector accessible to investors of all sizes, from large corporations to micro-enterprises. He encouraged everyone to respect nature and embrace tourism as a means of both personal and collective growth.

The Governor’s address highlighted Benue State’s commitment to fostering sustainable tourism while leveraging its rich natural heritage for economic development, making it an attractive destination for tourists and investors alike.

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1 Comment

  • Posted September 27, 2023 5:21 pm
    by Ajene Ogbu

    Thank you, my Governor.
    We yet look up to you for greater and mightier strides that would move Benue State to her next level of growth and development. May the Lord guide you every step of the way. 🙏🏼

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