The Oyo State government is set to make the state a tourist destination providing the necessary infrastructure and security commitments across the state, to make tourism convenient, safe and memorable. The State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde stated this while declaring open Ibadan Travel and Tourism Expo 2024 organized by the Famous Oguntoye Twins of “Twins Tourism”.

Declaring the expo open, Governor Seyi Makinde said his administration has created an atmosphere for tourism to thrive by enabling the hospitality industry to grow such that people now flock to the cities and towns in Oyo State to enjoy their money pleasurably.

Represented by the state commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the Governor said the state is proud to be associated with Ambassadors Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye considering their contributions to the promotion of tourism in the state, Nigeria and beyond.

Addressing the gathering in the capacity of Chairman of the event, Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi canvassed for the promotion of everything peculiar to Nigeria with a view to arousing the interest of people around the world to visit the country.

Delivering the keynote address titled, SPOTLIGHT ON OYO STATE: DESTINATION MARKETING AND BRANDING FOR EMERGING ECONOMIES, Prof Wasiu Babalola from Atiba University, Oyo charged government to continue to make deliberate and conscious efforts at promoting the state as a destination for tourism.

The Oguntoye Twin Brothers earlier in their welcome remarks noted that the Ibadan Travel and Tourism Expo was aimed at opening up the untapped market in Nigeria pointing out the fact that Ibadan alone is blessed with a myriad of activities that could make the city a destination for tourists all year round.

Highlights of the event included panel discussion on Building a Career in the Travel and Tourism Industry featuring stakeholders such as Karamat Ajala of the Institute for Information, Arts & Cultural Development in Nigeria, Anago Osho of Association of History, Nature and Culture Tour Guides and Dr Olatokunbo Dagunduro of Skal International Ibadan Club moderated by Mrs Olanike Mustapha of Oyo State Woman in Business and Tourism.

Also, a panel discussion on Media Matters: Telling the Tourism Stories and Maximizing Media Exposure moderated by Ambassadors Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye which featured Media Professionals such as Niyi Dahunsi of FRCN Ibadan, Edmund Obilo and Chief Jide Ojo from Abuja.

Another panel discussion featuring the Conservator-General of Nigeria National Park Service, Dr Goni Ibrahim Musa, Director General Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr Joseph Onoja, Former Head, Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, UI, Prof. G.A. Lameed, Representatives of Pangolin Conservation Guild Nigeria, moderated by Dr Adetola Adetuga from University of Ibadan.

The peak of the discussions featured Culture and Tourism enthusiasts including the first daughter of late Alaafin Adeyemi, Princess Folashade Adéyemí of Arewa House of Culture, Oriyomi Pamela Otuka, Curator of National Museum of Unity, Ibadan and Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday of Tojum Hospitality.

The well attended Expo had Dignitaries from within and outside the country including President General of Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Executive Director of African Travel Commission, Chairman CHI Assets, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration Oyo State Command, President of Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, Captain of Hospitality and Tourism industry among others.

The event also featured exhibitions from airline, National Park, Museum, Aviation College among other and presentation of awards to various stakeholders who have been involved in the promotion, preservation and conservation of the tourism industry at the special dinner hosted to mark the 10th year anniversary of the Oguntoye’s Tourism Radio Show (Travel with the Twins) and Birthday celebration.

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