The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Douye Diri, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has expressed his desire to collaborate with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) to promote literary tourism, with a view to immortalising high profile authors from the state.
Mr Kiyaramo who dropped the hint during the unveiling of two books, the Child of the Creek and Oruru & Ikpakpa, authored by Mr. Joel Solomon Tekenate at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa on Easter Monday, lamented that though Bayelsa State boasts of many literary icons, they have not been given due recognition and celebrated.
He said literary tourism has continued to offer considerable brand and marketing benefits to destinations across the globe, adding that literary tourism opportunities exist along with opportunities arising from literary festivals and book shops.
The governor’s aide reiterated that the time is ripe for authors from the state to promote places mentioned in their literary works as tourist sites, assuring that his office was willing to collaborate with the association to promote literary tourism potentials in the state.
Mr Kiyaramo further explained that visiting particular places associated with a novel or a novelist, such as a writer’s home, grave site, including routes taken by fictional characters, visiting places mentioned in poems, as well as visiting museums dedicated to specific writers, works, regional literatures, and literary genres are all part of literary tourism.
Technical Adviser to the governor on Education, Dr. Isaiah Oyenkorikiye in his brief remark, promised to encourage the author to excel, saying that the prosperity administration under Senator Douye Diri has education as a key priority sector to develop.
In his remark, the state chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Chief Adulphus Munamuna, described authors as the vision bearers of nations, saying that through literature of cultures, knowledge is passed unto the next generation.
Also speaking, book reviewer and chairman of the South-South Writers Union, Mr. Amaitari Mozimo, had appealed to the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Tourism to consider literary tourism in his tourism development agenda.
He commended the author his painstaking scholarly work, adding that the two books were inspiring and will be useful for primary and secondary schools.
The author of the two books, Mr Alika Joel Solomon Tekenate, in his vote of thanks appreciated the guests for their support towards the book launch, just as he acknowledged the contributions of the Associationof Nigerian Authors (ANA), South South Writers Union (SOSOWU) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to the success of the occasion
Recall that literary tourism is the practice of visiting cities and sites related to works of fiction and their authors.
Literary tourism originated in the United Kingdom making its presence felt around the second part of the eighteenth century and well into the early beginning of the nineteenth century when it started to be seen as a very popular form of travel for the youth of that time.