The Senior SpecialAssistant (SSA) to the Governor on Tourism Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has expressed the hope that with the United Nations declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development, the tourism sector will be able to demonstrate political will to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Mr Kiyaramo who spoke with travel journalists in Yenagoa on Tuesday, in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, noted that the goal behind Women’s Day is to spread the message of gender equality, adding that women play a significant role in the travel and tourism industry.
He said while countries across the globe celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in different spheres, there was need to work towards building a society free of all gender biases, stereotypes, gender parity and discrimination.
The SSA maintained that tourism offers respectable and stable opportunities to underserved populations who may not have benefited from formalized education, many of whom are women, saying that it is important that the travel industry celebrates women, particularly those building better future for themselves, and at the same time helping their communities to become leaders through travel and tourism.
Mr Kiyaramo, popularly known and addressed as “Mr Tourism”, reiterated that responsibly developed tourism strategy would offer unparalleled opportunities that could stimulate the local economy, benefit indigenous communities and conserve the rich biodiversity.
He noted that participatory tourism planning and management from a gender perspective is one of the essential principles in all policy planning and management.
“This must of course incorporate corporate social and environmental responsibility, training and education as it becomes necessary to foster women’s participation in areas where they are currently not present, but that are essential for the creation and implementation of tourism policies”, he further stressed.
According to the governor’s aide, many of our female graduates in our communities can be trained as cultural tour guides to enable them take care of their families with view to developing a robust and vital local tourism economy to make the state a better place to live and experience.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, and call for climate action for women, by women.