Nigeria’s Father of Tourism and former President, Association Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN), Chief Mike Amachree has called on all tiers government to support and pay greater attention to water transportation. Amachree was speaking when he was hosted by the members Association of Tourism Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) at Tarzan Jetty, Lagos. He was all over the world, no country that wants to do well in tourism and transport neglects water transportation.
“A tourist has three means of movement: by air, road and water. I want to use this opportunity to encourage travellers to patronise water based travel, which is the most interesting aspect of tourism.
For instance, more people travel to Hawaii because of Wakiki Beach in Honolulu as well as Miami in Florida because of beaches. Here in West Africa, Gambia, one of the smallest countries in the region attracts more international tourists because of the Banjul beach.
“Activities that can be embarked upon in water tourism include: swimming, fishing, boat cruise, diving, water skiing, canoe ride, boat regatta and many others.
Amachree also called on government to build fuels stations at the waterfront to service operators. “The issue of building filling stations to service boat operators in water based tourism has been on for many years. The government needs to encourage these operators by building fuel stations to save them the stress of carrying jerry cans in search of fuel.”
He commended the Lagos State government in their efforts to open up the waterways and urged the state to partner with ATBOWATON to further improve the water transportation in the state.
Amachree encouraged ATBOWATON to reach out and involve other riverine areas of the federation.
The President of ATBOWATON, Mr Tarzan Gani Balogun, said it was in recognition of the tremendous contribution of Chief Mike Amachree that the boat operators decided to hold the special event in his honour.
Tarzan said Chief Amachree has been in the forefront of promotion and development of tourism in Nigeria for many years.
Dr Meshileya called on the government to empower the boat operators to improve on their services on water as well as tangible loans to assist them in purchasing boats and others.
Responding, Lagos State Managing Director of Lagos Ferry Services, Mr Paul Kaleijaiye, in his response, promised to work with the operators on how to help them secure loans and generally improve on their servicesRead Full Story