Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Samuel Numonengi has called for synergy between performing artistes and tourism professionals as a way of exploring the value of music tourism in the state, describing music as a primary driver of tourism.
Numonengi, who stated this when board members of Bayelsa Musical Artistes Awards (BMAA) paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Azikoro Road Yenagoa on Tuesday, noted that”the music industry grew at 8%, twice the rate of the world economy in 2018, as tourist arrivals increased by 7%, same year.”
He maintained that music brings with it several other opportunities to enhance destination offerings in terms of developing musical tourism products to boost the tourism branding, adding that partnership between music and tourism will certainly increase the economic values on both sides.
The NUJ chairman said the role of music in travel marketing, including conferences and experiential travel, ranging from hosting music festivals and heritage music events, to use of music videos to promote and share local cultures and experiences remain strong tourism promotional tools for destinations.
Also speaking, chairman of Travel Writers’ Corps of Nigeria Union of Journalists in the state, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo, who commended the management team of Bayelsa Musical Artistes Awards for promoting music tourism, said the act of visiting a city or town, to see witness a music festival or other music performances constitutes music tourism which is of particular importance to both small and large cities.
According to the travel journalist, music festivals have the capacity to draw many tourists to a city, pointing out that music has been one of the great ways of promoting tourism all across the globe, even as music has helped in displaying the beauty and elegance of cities at their best.
He noted that “music teaches us about language. Some of the first communication we give and receive in life is through music. Music provides an entertaining form of repetition that is so conducive to memory as a key part of growing our cultural identity,
Mr Kiyaramo reiterated that it was over due for stakeholders to come together to properly reposition the Bayelsa musical cultural heritage, adding that music has always been a veritable tool to enhance the offerings of Bayelsa State being an emerging tourism hub in the South South region.
Earlier, chairman, board of directors of Bayelsa Musical Artistes Awards (BMAA), Mr. Stanley Imgbi said this year’s event promises to be an extraordinary cultural experience for Bayelsa, which he said will play the role of driving awareness, cross culture education with a view to profiling Bayelsan’s rich leisure tourism offerings on the international stage.
“Music is one of the greatest motivations for tourism. Whether live or recorded, experiencing music implies celebrating its rich diversity and talent, promoting intercultural dialogue and encouraging cultural exchange,” he said.
On her part, BMAA manager, Miss Bina Jokori said the iconi musical tourism awards event was planned to showcase the ultimate of Ijaw culture, music, and creativity, to be held in the last quarter of the year, informing that the awards will spur upcoming artistes to develop their musical talents.
Miss Jokori enumerated the objectives of the awards event to include: inculcating greatness among youth through the force of music, identify and profile upcoming musical artistes, with a view to sparking cultural sustainability and to evaluate Bayelsa musical artistes.
Proprietor of the awards, Walter Wisdom Baraladei, said Bayelsa Musical Artistes Awards is an annual event designed to lift the spirit and aspirations of gifted and creative individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen musical careers/profession with a vision of inspiring artistes to uphold the principles of originality, creativity and style in their craft.
Also contributing, Secretary of BMAA board of trustees, Miss Farida Ebitimi Emerson who stressed the commercial worth of indigenous musicians, however lamented the absence of proper packaging recognition for local artistes, calling on both public and private sectors to invest in the upcoming musical artistes in the state through the BMAA platform.