The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism led a multi-sector team on a 4-day tour to about sixteen tourism locations in Oyo State.
The team, led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Oyedele Oyesola; the Conservator of National Park, Sepeteri, Mr Adeniyi Kareem and other tourism stakeholders in Oyo State, expressed optimism that the sites could generate huge revenue for the state.
The 4-day domestic tourism tagged “Know Your State, Enjoy Your State and Feel Your State”, took tourists to some historical sites at the National Park; Igbeti; Sepeteri and Ibadan.
Speaking on the significance of the site visits, Mr Oyesola said the visits were with a view to enhancing Oyo State’s tourism products and carefully harness their potentials.
He added that Oyo State is endowed with unique integrated culture and heritage inherited from its forebearers.
“Oyo State’s unique cultural identity is known worldwide as evident in many of the tourist sites visited,” he said.
He noted that the hills in the Oke-ogun area of Oyo State must be given wide publicity, considering their heights and the amazing views one can experience from that vantage point.
Oyesola added that most of the historical sites have ancient stories that accompany their existence, dating back to the Old Oyo empire.
He said the tourism sector of the state shares the view of local tour operators that the sites would be awesome for visitors, adding that they could be money-spinning potentials.
Oyesola said, “We look forward to working with all of the relevant agencies to make this a reality.
“Oyo State is amply endowed with unique tourism potentials scattered in its nooks and crannies in all 33 local governments which are unquestionable.
“Tourism is money-spinning, if we go by retrospect you will be able to learn from past experiences considering the Irefin palace we visited today, nobody knows when the Oba that reign in Irefin was reigning in Ibadan and we are told that it has 200 rooms it’s shown there is a cohabiting nature for 200 women to live withing same roof successfully, it’s something that requires in-depth learning to see our forebears that they have native intelligent,” he added.
Speaking, the Conservator of National Park, Adeniyi Karim called for partnership on eco-tourism and its facilities with relevant authorities.
He said the park has facilities that have blended the past with nature, with about 6 ranges containing historical/archeological sites.
In the meantime, some sites visited were Ali-Iwo palace, National Museum of Unity, Aleshinloye, Ibadan; Irefin Palace which belongs to one of the Royal families of Ibadan land, and Bowers Tower.
Others visited were African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre, Adeyipo Village, Ibadan; Old Oyo-Ile in Igbeti; Mejiro cave; Kosomonu hill; Ibu-iya lake; Agbele hill; Iya-Mapo hill; and the Agbaku cave.
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