A young Nigerian-Canadian, Joel Olaniyi Oyatoye, has declared his readiness to partner the Oyo State government to promote cultural tourism.
He said this when he visited the Apesinola of Yorubaland, Sir Dotun Sanusi, at Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Akanran, Ona Ara Local Government Area, on Thursday.
The youthful Nigerian-Canadian spoke on the need to form a synergy for continued promotion of cultural toirism in the country and in the Diaspora.
He said his promotion of culture, especially Yoruba values, gave him global exposure, adding that his engagement as a Yoruba ambassador and teacher influenced his Yoruba Museum in Canada.
Oyatoye called on Nigerian youths to embrace their culture and urged governments at all levels to focus on tourism development.
He cited the example of the Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde who has declared the readiness of his administration to focus on tourism to boost the economy of the state.
Oyatoye also described Sir Sanusi, the founder and owner of Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, as an example of a true promoter of culture.
He added that Sanusi demonstrated his foresight for cultural tourism by citing his business in a rural community, despite his global exposure.
The Nigerian-Canadian noted that such a decision can only be taken by a man of culture as a means to draw closer to his people for development.
Oyatoye, fondly called ‘Baba Asa’, said his foundation deemed it fit to honour Sir Sanusi with an Award of Excellence during the ‘Asa Day’, holding in Winnipeg, Canada.
He also disclosed that the event would draw several traditional rulers from the South-West, lawmakers from the state and other government stakeholders.
The young promoter of culture said the event would undoubtedly add value to the image and economy of the state.
He said there would be an exhibition in the museum on cultural values and artefacts to facilitate cultural exports for the state.
This, he said, would help to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state and turn it to a major centre of tourism in the country.
Speaking, Sir Dotun Sanusi commended the young Nigerian-Canadian promoter of cultural Yoruba values for the initiative.
He expressed his pleasure with Oyatoye on his desire to showcase the Yoruba cultural heritage overseas, and promised to support to him in the area of wider networking.
Sir Sanusi called on the state government to tap into tourism potentials of the Nigerian-Canadian Cultural Ambassador.
He said this would equally help to discover other youths with talents, skills and passion for development of culture and as well served as a source of increase in IGR.
Meanwhile, the Premier of Manitoba, Canada, Stefanson Heather, has said the forthcoming ‘Asa Day’, started by Oyatoye in 2018, has helped to establish Yoruba culture among the people and residents of Manitoba.
He said the Oro, Kwara-State born promote of Yoruba cultural values has added value to the development of Yoruba culture globally.
Stefanson added that the culture exhibition has also added value to potentials inherent in tourism.
The Premier said efforts by Oyatoye cannot be overlooked, noting that the Winnipeg Yoruba Culture Day has attracted millions of tourists, further expanding Yoruba culture in Canada.