L-R:President Nigerian Hotel and Catering Institute ,Mr.Sunmou Gbenga; Chairman of the occasion,Chief Michael Ade-Ojo; New Vice President, Institute For Tourism Professionals of Nigeria, (ITPN),Otunba A yo Olumoko and President/ Chairman of the Governing Council, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo during the investirute ceremony of Olumoko as the Vice President ,ITPN South West Zone in Lagos.

…Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams showered praises on Olumoko

Otunba Ayo Olumoko on last Thursday installed as Vice-President of Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Southwest.

During the investiture, Otunba Ayo Olumoko shared his thoughts on tourism potentials in the Southwest and Nigeria in general. ‘There is no gainsaying that Southwest have highest deposit of cultural and tourism activities in Nigeria. Talk about heritage sites, there are many in Osun state. Nearly all the religious leaders in Nigeria are from Osun state. The tourism potential we have in Ife is huge.’

‘I studied business administration but I bear more into Integrated Marketing Communication. I bear on the cultural aspect and that is why in the Southwest I have done a lot of cultural festivals marketing, presentation, promotion, and of course, fund sourcing for most of them.
Most of the funds that I have sourced are used to develop these heritage sites. We have been able to establish public-private partnership with the community. If I can do that for myself and my area of business, why not help others’,

The new ITPN VP in Southwest added: ‘It is unfortunate that most of our states depend on subventions. If only they can look inward, we have robust tourism activities that you can do. We have the numbers. Our population is much. We are peculiar in Nigeria. When anything new comes up, we are ready to come into it and it very well.’
‘Most of our universities and polytechnics have tourism curriculum, that is what ITPN stands for which is capacity development and training. It is an awarding body for higher institutions, public institutions, there is a lot that our government needs to learn’, he shared.

Also speaking at the event, The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams showered praises on the new Vice-President of Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Southwest, Otunba Ayo Olumoko at his investiture.

Aare Adams noted that the tourism guru, Olumoko contributed immensely to the upliftment of the Osun-Osogbo festival and working alongside the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi on the Olojo festival.
Speaking withJournalists, the high-ranking Yoruba chief said about Ayo Olumoko, ‘Let me first congratulate him on this new office. Those who took this decision have taken a very good decision. I have known Ayo Olumoko for more than 23 years and we have been together in cultural tourism. He is the one who changed the face of Osun Osogbo Festival and I give him the credit for another assignment working with Ooni of Ofe on Olojo Festival. He is a coolheaded man that understands what to do at the right time. I pray that God will give him the power to steer the ship of the organization.’

 
Tasking Nigerians on tourism, Aare Adams said: ‘Tourism is very large. It is giving people joy. We haven’t tapped our tourism potentials. What we are doing is cultural tourism and entertainment industry. What about educational tourism which Ade Ojo has done his part. Who knows Ilara Mokin before erecting the university? The community has become a destination. Have we opened the space for sports tourism, what happened to sports development? When we were young, we normally go to Games Village to watch the training of Green Eagles and Golden Eaglets.’
‘What about religious tourism, although it is written in the Bible but if it is not built for tourism, what will happen to Jerusalem? What about Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage? What are we doing about Oke-Itase in Ile-Ife, what are we doing about Oduduwa Shrine? What about agricultural tourism, I went to Germany some years ago where I saw that tourism is neglected in agriculture. So we can package many things into tourism and it is a goldmine that will not be taken away from us. For tourism, the more you package it, the more you make money from it.’

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