Tourism over the years has proven to be a major source of income in countries like France, Spain, Japan, Italy, China, Thailand , Germany, United States of America , United Kingdom, Greece, Mexico, Australia, Iceland , Portugal, India, Maldives, Indonesia, Bahamas, Philippines, New Zealand, Switzerland , Canada, Croatia, South Africa, Rwanda, Brasil, Kenya etc. Cross River State sits at the forefront of Nigeria’s leading state in boosting global tourism. The People’s paradise has the potential to be a top player in the global tourism industry if we can channel more energy to improving our tourism calendar and partner with technical experts to make our efforts more financially rewarding, than engage in just meriments and funs.
Maximizing our potentials in the tourism world means that we must look inward to see what we can use to attract people to come and give us money. It was for this purpose and in an effort to collaboratively assist the people of Cross River and the State government, that the Chairman/CEO of Bengies Group of Companies/Ben Akak Foundation, Engr. Ben Akak(Otuekong Ukwa Eburutu), visited the famous Calabar Museum to get firsthand information about the current state of the Museum. With Engr. Ben Akak to visit the Museum was a former governor of the State, His Excellency, Chief Clement Ebri.
To Engr. Ben Akak, visiting the Calabar Museum is part of his idea that citizens can collaboratively partner the government in their private capacities to develop the State, and an effort to highlight the fact that Museums which forms part of Cultural heritage tourism, is currently one of the best parts of the tourism industry, and is a more powerful economic development tool. It has been revealed that museums are now playing a major role not only in the wider sphere of arts, but also within tourism and leisure.
Addressing the curator and others outside the Calabar Museum, Engr. Ben Akak told the audience that we must understand that Museums can no longer sit back and expect that people will start queuing up to pay money to watch monuments, but that their roles have to change to attract more audience(s).
He cited the United Kingdom where Museums and Galleries in 2002 and 2003 generated an income of about 108 Million Pounds from fundraising , trading activities and admission charges and urged those in charge of the Calabar Museum and the government to work out a more robust means of improving the standard of the Calabar Museum which can turn it to a money spinning machine and serve as the mainstay of our economy in collaboration with other tourism potentials in the State.
HON. SEN. PST. BILL FRANCIS BILL
SPOKESPERSON TO GOV CLEAN SWEET PRINCE AND CHIEF ADVOCATE TO CHIEF OTU-EKONG ENGR BEN AKAK