The Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi has called for more involvement of the private sector in the running and development of Idanre Hills and resort, for tourism development.
Mr. Olowolabi made this known at a 3-day stakeholders interactive workshop organised by the Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, held at the Oke Idanre Resort in Idanre.
The Information and Orientation Commissioner said the development of the hills will attract tourists into the state, which he said would boost the economic base of the state and the host communities.
He also appreciated the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN for all the developmental programmes carried out across the state, noting that the government is working hard to tap into the tourism sector of the State, especially the Oke Idanre Tourism Centre.
Similarly, the guest lecturer, Dr. Oladeji S. O, from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, who presented a paper titled, management and threat to sustainable development of Oke Idanre cultural landscape, called on sons and daughters of Idanre to invest at home by building hospitality oriented ventures like swimming pools, hotels, which he said would create jobs and attract tourists.
The Don also suggested the creation of Community Conservation Education Centre in the town which would create avenue for sensitizing the host communities on how to protect and preserve all monuments deposited in the town.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ismaila Olurimisi, said the hills are facing some challenges, which include; poaching, rock blasting, some religious practices and farming as well as the damming of Arun river. He suggested more sensitization of the host community and provision of alternative occupations like poultry, fishing, rabbit and goat rearing etc.
He went further to advocate more prosecution of poachers to serve as deterrent to others.
In his remarks, the Owa of Idanre, Oba Frederick Aroloye, said though the gathering ought to have been held long ago, pledged the support of all the people of Idanre towards the development of the Oke Idanre Hilltop Tourist Centre but sought prompt prosecution of people caught pilfering or tampering with artifacts or materials provided by the government there.
Oba Aroloye noted that specially trained guides should be provided to work on the Hilltop so as to ensure that tourists get value for their stay and wish to encourage others to come.
Present at the event were, Oba Gilbert Ogunlowo, the Adunranjan 1, Awosunye of Atosin Idanre, Oba Ayodele Akinbola, the Aladeokun of Alade Idanre, Chiefs and representatives of women and youths.
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