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3m holidaymakers spent 50bn in Lagos last December

A scene from the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) on New Year Day

The Lagos State government has revealed that for the second year in a row the state’s economy received a boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors last December.

“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy- friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture Steve Ayorinde said in a statement released on Saturday (January 12).

To arrive at the results, the state monitored various reports, statistics and analyses across immigration offices, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food and beverage sales, event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings

In December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, there was “an estimated spending of well above N50bn in cash transactions,” the statement says, adding that continued high performance in the creative economy reflects Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.

The state’s Calendar of Arts and Culture events, released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month, has also contributed to the increased activity.

The Commissioner points out that there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode addressing concert goers at One Lagos Fiesta (OLF)

According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21 million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”

Recall that  the Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listed Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for the summer holiday.

The MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranked Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment ecosystem In December,” Ayorinde concludes.

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