Anambra tourism on centre stage
By Sunny A. Ijomah
“So, Anambra has such breathtaking tourist sites?” That was the question that has been reverberating since the 14th Akwaaba African Travel Market exhibition opened at Eko Hotel, Lagos September 9, 2018.
That question is not surprising because until about three years ago, except for Ogbunike Caves and a few other tourist sites, not many knew that Anambra State houses several treasure troves for tourists. Even those few had received lukewarm support from previous administrations in the State.
Thanks to Governor Willie Obiano and his vigorous pursuit of his Vision and Mission for Anambra State, tourism is poised to become a major revenue earner for the State.
The rehabilitation, up-grading, and promotion of key potential tourist sites across the State has become a front burner issue, particularly, since the commencement of Governor Obiano’s second term in March 2018. One of the major developments was the appointment of Mrs Sally Mbanefo, an accomplished tourist expert, as the Commissioner responsible for Tourism, among other portfolios, including Diaspora Affairs, Culture, and Indigenous Artworks.
Of particular interest are the positive developments going on in and around Africa’s biggest natural cave and waterfalls, the Owerre-Ezukala Caves and Waterfalls. This natural wonder has begun to receive the quality and level of attention it deserves to put it on the world tourists’ map. Roads to this very important site have been upgraded.
The caves and waterfalls have also been receiving serious attention. The decades old staircase on the descent to the caves have been revamped and upgraded. Other amenities like modern convenience for tourists have also been installed.
Exhibitors at the 14th Akwaaba include Dubai, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, and South Africa, among others.
Indications are that before long tourism will be a major contributor to Anambra State’s internally generated revenue.