As Bayelsa State celebrates the 10th annual Thanksgiving Day holiday on November 2, 2021, the Senior Special Assistant to State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has called on tourism enterprises, particularly artists, to take advantage of the Thanksgiving event to produce quality local souvenirs and other gift items to remember the day.
Speaking with travel writers shortly after the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration at the state Ecumenical Centre, Igbogene on Tuesday, Mr Kiyaramo reiterated that the annual Thanksgiving holiday provides an excellent opportunity for tour operators and event planners to introduce different tour packages that will attract more visitors to the state to boost the local economy.
According to the governor’s aide, the Thanksgiving holiday was the best period for manufacturers of local handicrafts and souvenir items, such as wooden earrings, necklace, pendants, coconut necklace, coco bracelets, shell bangles, wood bangles, shell jewelry, beads and natural jewelries to market the state because of the influx of visitors to the state during the holiday.
The SSA said: “Souvenir trade is an important part of the tourism industry, which serves a dual role: first to help improve the local economy and second, to allow visitors to take with them a memento of their visit to the state, ultimately to encourage an opportunity for a return visit”.
“First, souvenirs play a very important role in the industry tourism. They are regarded as items of memories of the people, place, events and gifts, secondly, souvenirs serve as motivational factors, they provide a source of satisfaction and help shape tourists’ experiences at the destination.
“The uniqueness of souvenirs has become one of the most important attributes that draws tourists’ attention to a particular destination because souvenirs enhance their sensory involvement as well as influence tourists’ decision-making process”, he stressed.
He recalled the annual national Thanksgiving Day holidays in the United States and Canada have become notable tourism events which celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year, informing that the American national Thanksgiving holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism with the traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal, which includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.
Mr Kiyaramo said Americans generally believe that their annual national Thanksgiving Day, being celebrated every November 25, is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people, saying that the holiday period is the busiest of the year, as family members gather with one another.
The Senior Special Assistant, popularly known as Mr Tourism, commended the state governor, Senator Douye Diri for using the state’s annual Thanksgiving event as unifying force to unite the Ijaws, irrespective of religious or political differences, pointing out that prosperity comes with peaceful coexistence among the people.
Governor Diri had declared Tuesday, 2nd November 2021 as work-free day in line with the State Annual Thanksgiving Law to enable both public and private sector workers participate fully.
By Joel Josiah