The Lagos State Government on Saturday said the state’s economy received a major boost of N50 billion in cash transactions in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the Yuletide.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Steve Ayorinde, in a statement said that the trends and reports were monitored in December, within the entertainment and tourism sector in the state.
He said that this was a record slightly higher than December 2017, which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.
Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, among others, captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50 billion.
“The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities.
“Also huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December,” he said.
He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone.
Ayorinde said this was with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas, among others.
“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,” Ayorinde said.
He added that the beauty of the assertion was that the surge in the creative enterprise over the Yuletide period was felt by all and sundry and was statistically measurable.
The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the ‘horrific’ gridlock in some parts of the state during the Yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.
According to him, the high volume of economic activity that was 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.
He said the state’s calendar of arts and culture events, which was released in January 2018, specifically assisted 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.
Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities.
“Aside the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.
“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.”
He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the Yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3 billion revenue in December alone.
He said parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.
Ayorinde said that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to the state in 2018.
“First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya, as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday.
“The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018,” he said.
The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa.
He said it was also to assure corporate institutions and investors that the state security and social infrastructure could support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.