Coronavirus: Lagos may postpone tourism festival

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The Lagos State Government may postpone the 2020 edition of its annual Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival, due to coronavirus infection.

The state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Ikeja at a media briefing on the festival.

Akinbile-Yussuf said that the postponement had become necessary because of the need to ensure safety of the state residents and participants.

The Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lagos State recorded a third case of coronavirus also known as COVID-19 on Tuesday (March 17).

The first case was an Italian who has been treated and is recovering at an isolation centre.

The second case eventually tested negative during subsequent tests.

The commissioner said that if not postponed, the Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival would hold from April 10 to April 12.

She said that the ministry had concluded arrangements for the festival.

According to her, due to coronavirus, the state government could make the tourism festival more local and reduce international participation.

“The ministry is aware of COVID -19, and we are working with the Ministry of Health to create washing of hands points, provide hand sanitisers and ensure safety of Lagosians before, during and after the programme,” she said.

The commissioner said that the programme was aimed at developing tourism, arts and culture and showcasing the state to the world.

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According to the official, the government will collaborate with Gradient Hill Ltd., a private organisation, in hosting the event.

Akinbile-Yussuf said that with the partnership, the project would showcase the physical and natural attributes of Lagos.

“It is our hope that it will showcase the endearing and welcoming spirit of the people, the already established reputation of Lagos as the primary entertainment destination in Nigeria.

“It will ensure not only the success of the programme but keeping the event going well into the future.

“The event will feature festival village, children’s corner, concerts and talent hunt, among others,” she said.

The commissioner added that the three-day event would feature a conference on tourism and a concert by local artistes.

She said that it would also feature boat regatta, parade and racing.

According to her, the state government is using the programme to leverage on the unique opportunities provided by entertainment industry.

“We are also trying to reach out to major tourism stakeholders on the continent and market Lagos as a choice and must-visit destination in Africa,” she said.

 

(NAN)