The Lagos State Government Saturday disclosed that its economy recorded an unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season.
The state government added that trends and reports it monitored within the period showed an estimated spending well above N50 billion in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than what it recorded in December 2017.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, made the disclosure in a statement he issued yesterday, revealing that cash transaction of N50 billion was recorded in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings during the yuletide alone.
Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses and event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured over N50 billion within the state’s entertainment and tourism sector.
He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone 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; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys and private security guards.
Like in 2017, according to him, last December 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. The beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.
He said 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.
Ayorinde said 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 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136 billion in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.
he attributed the state’s continued high performance in the creative economy to 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.
He cited the state’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was 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.”
Ayorinde said December “has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 3, 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 N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.
He added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos 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 remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with Ambode’s vision “to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.”
The commissioner noted that the night economy “has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”