Home Economy Interrogating The Tourism And Peace Of Plateau – Pointblank News Editorial

Interrogating The Tourism And Peace Of Plateau – Pointblank News Editorial

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There are only a few landscapes on earth that can rival the serene beauty and tranquil ambience of Plateau State. Known as ‘The Home of Peace and Tourism’, this unique state is yoked into a union of tranquillity and beautiful splendour by nature.

Plateau State is a hidden jewel in Nigeria, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and a melting pot of cultures, where traditional customs and modern influences coexist harmoniously.

Plateau State is surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and an array of captivating tourist sites such as the Shere Hills, Wase Rock, Assop Falls, Wildlife Park and the charming Kura Waterfalls, making it a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the rugged terrain on hiking trails, go birdwatching in the nearby Jos wildlife reserves, or simply relax and take in the breath-taking views of the surrounding countryside. The city of Jos enjoys clement weather throughout the year, making it an ideal tourist destination for people to seek relief from the sweltering heat.

The cool climate also allows for the cultivation of a variety of crops, including potatoes, maize, and vegetables, which thrive in the city’s fertile soil. So are you looking to enjoy natural sumptuous meals without any additives, escape the heat, explore the great outdoors, or immerse yourself in the local culture, Jos has something to offer. In Jos, adventure awaits!

However, beneath the veneer of its inviting tourism tagline lies a more complex reality. While Plateau State undoubtedly offers a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and natural attractions, the presence of crisis at times challenges its peaceful image. With proper strategies and a commitment to sustainable and inclusive approaches, Plateau State can transform its narrative from one of periodic upheaval to one of enduring peace and prosperity.

The dual identity of Plateau State as a hub of peace and tourism, exploring how its potential as a tourist destination can be reconciled with the imperative of ensuring lasting peace obviously seems to be missing and this is a challenge Plateau State Tourism Corporation needs to immediately tackle.

The state’s tourism sector, once a cornerstone of its economy, showed promise for both local development and international allure. Tourism, after all, acts as a catalyst for peace by fostering cross-cultural understanding and bringing economic benefits that can deter conflict. Nevertheless, Plateau State’s journey towards becoming a paragon of peace and tourism has been marred by periodic communal clashes and inter-ethnic hostilities worsened by lack of deliberate plans by succeeding governments to develop the tourism potentials of the state.

Very crucial to peace in Plateau State is addressing the root causes of its recurrent unrest. Historical grievances, competition for land and lush green vegetation by the herdsmen, worsened by global warming, and ethnic heterogeneity have all contributed to a fragile peace. The promotion of inclusive governance and equitable sharing of resources, alongside the revamping of Plateau Peace Building Agency as reconciliation mechanism, can provide a basis for sustained peace. These steps are fundamental as they form the bedrock upon which any successful tourism industry can be built.

In the realm of tourism, The Time Is Now for Plateau State to focus on sustainable tourism practices – those that respect the environment, promote cultural integrity, and support local economies. Juxtaposing the potential of eco-tourism against the state’s picturesque geography and the ecological parks could foster long-term tourism development. For instance, the Jos Wildlife Park, with its array of fauna, and the Pandam Wildlife Park, a sanctuary for aquatic life, the magnificient Wase Rock, the rolling hills of shere spreading down to Riyom punctuated by eye catching lush green vegetation present unique opportunities for eco-tourism.

However, for The Time Is Now Mantra to attain the full potential of the State as a hub for peace and tourism, it needs substantial investments in both its peace infrastructure and tourist facilities. The state must develop a robust security framework that guarantees safety for locals and visitors alike. Engaging local communities in tourism planning and providing economic incentives can also create stakeholders investment in the peace process.

Most importantly, the state must ensure that a deliberate beautification plan is developed and followed by the residents. Buildings and features along the major roads must be made to conform to certain deliberate beautification pattern. Road pavements, round abouts and hyradualic structures must be utilized in showing the identity of the state as the Home of Peace and Tourism

Education and awareness-raising are also paramount in transforming Plateau State into a true home for peace and tourism. Through educational programmes that accentuate the state’s multicultural fabric and include peace education at all levels, residents can develop a vested interest in sustaining peace.

Also, strategic marketing campaigns should portray Plateau State’s authentic stories of resilience and unity to both domestic and international tourists, thereby enhancing its reputation as a peaceful destination. The hosting of the 2023 Governor’s Cup final in Mangu, for instance, has set the pace where similar strategic marketing campaigns could follow

Investment in infrastructure being another crucial aspect is already being done by the present administration of Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang. However, improved accessibility through better roads and transportation, reliable internet connectivity, and enhanced accommodation facilities would significantly augment the tourist experience. By enhancing the infrastructure, Plateau State could more effectively showcase its natural wonders and cultural festivities, such as the Nzem Berom, Ilum O’Tarok, Pusdung, Afezire Cultural festival, and the Jos Carnival etc to the world.

As an appealing display of cultures and natural elegance, Plateau State indeed has the potential to stand as a tribute to Nigeria’s promise and Africa’s allurement. The path ahead will require careful planning, commitment to peace, and a celebration of diversity. Only then can Plateau State reclaim its sobriquet as ‘The Home of Peace and Tourism’, offering not just an escape for visitors but a model of harmony for the world to replicate.

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