The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has described cultural heritage tourism as a very powerful for economic development, revealing that museums play major role, in the wider sphere of the tourism, arts and leisure industry, globally.
Mr Kiyaramo who made the remark when he hosted the Acting Curator from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum in Bayelsa State, Mrs Adelani Rachael in Yenagoa on Friday, said museums play a vital role in the promotion of cultural and heritage tourism for sustainable economic development.
According to the SSA, cultural and heritage tourism which has to do with travelling to experience arts, heritage and activities that truly represent the stories and people of the past and present generation in a particular tourism destination.
While expressing his concerns over the poor attention given to conservation efforts in the Niger Delta region by the multinational oil corporations whose exploration activities have caused environmental degradation, he appealed to the international oil corporations to support ongoing conservation efforts of the Prosperity Administration in Bayelsa State to safeguard precious heritage in the region.
The SSA on Tourism enjoined the acting curator of the Oloibiri Oil and Gas museum to introduce innovative ideas to attract tourists to the meseum, saying it was no longer fashionable to curators to sit back and expect that people will start queuing up at the their premises.
He maintained that cultural heritage tourism is one of the best part of the tourism industry, being a more powerful economic development tool for developing countries.
Also speaking, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi said the media will continue to project the rich cultural heritage of the people in a bid to attract more visitors to the state, pointing out that increase in arrivals will enable the state to generate more revenue.
Comrade Numonengi stated that while crude oil is exhaustible, tourism is inexhaustible, hence, the Senator Douye Diri-led prosperity administration is focusing attention on the tourism sector to achieve sustainable economic development by investing in tourism.
He said the Nigeria Union of Journalist is working in collaboration with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism to promote the abundant cultural tourism potentials of the state.
Earlier, the Acting Curator from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, in charge of the National Oil and Gas Museum in Bayelsa State, Mrs Adelani Rachael had briefed the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on the mandate of the commission.
Mrs Adelani explained that the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), also referred to as National Museum of Nigeria, was founded in 1979 by the Federal Government of Nigeria under Decree 77 of 1979 to be in charge of the collection, documentation, conservation and presentation of national cultural properties to the public for the purposes of education, enlightenment and entertainment.
She solicited for the support of the state government in the provision of office space for the effective operations if the commission, pending the completion of the ongoing National Oil and Gas Museum and Research Centre in Otuagbagi in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.