Rivers State aims to grow GDP with Carniriv 2012

Posted: October 2, 2012 in travel & tourism

As preparations for the 2012 edition of the internationally acclaimed Rivers State Carnival, popularly referred to as Carniriv intensify, the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, RSTDA has explained that this year’s event is targeted at impacting the economic prosperity of the people of the state. Carniriv 2012 holds from Saturday, December 8 to Saturday 15, at the Liberation Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt.

Dr. Sam Dede, the Director-General, Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, RSTDA, speaking on the level of preparedness for Carniriv 2012, said government is desirous of making this year’s event one of the major platforms to bring about significant economic wellbeing and empowerment for the people of the state.

He added that the prosperity of the people will ultimately result in exponential growth in the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state put currently at US$21,073,410,422. With a population of 5.1 million people and GDP per capita of $3,965, Rivers State is Nigeria’s second largest economy after Lagos State.

‘‘The hosting of Carniriv offers a strategic connection for the people of Rivers State; one reason is the fact that Carniriv is a brand that is owned by the people.  Our strategic intent is therefore that the carnival must not just be a showcase of the pristine cultures of our people to the world, but a tool for the empowerment and socio- economic prosperity of the people of Rivers State. We are persuaded that ultimately, when the people prosper, Rivers State will prosper, and Nigeria will also prosper’’, Dede said.

The RSTDA Director-General further noted that the strategic linkage between economic prosperity and destination marketing is compelling for countries in view of the current global economic recession. ‘We are well-focused in our hosting of Carniriv for the sixth time, and the positive impact we intend to see on the economy of the state.

‘’We intend to see more than a good show. We intend to see record economic growth. We intend to use this edition of the carnival to put money in the hands of the average man and woman on the street who will engage in one socio-economic activity or the other during Carniriv. That is how Carniriv can impact and improve their lives. We are therefore focusing on the economy of the carnival itself’’, he explained.

‘‘In South Africa, tourism rose from being the fifth contributor to the GDP to the second place by the year 2007, second only to mining. This is where we have our eyes on, from this year and we intend to track the economic impact of the carnival from this year going forward. This is how we plan to make Carniriv the flagship product of our destination marketing efforts‘’.

Dede announced that arrangements are already in top gear to host the world to one of the best-organised carnival events ever witnessed. Among the pre-carnival preparatory activities was the hosting of a Strategy Retreat and the inaugural meeting of the Operations Team set up by RSTDA to ensure flawless organisation of the festival from start to finish.

The Operations Team comprises experts and consultants from different fields ranging from PR and Reputation Management, Branding and Road Show Management, Health, Transport and Logistics, Safety and Environment, Technical as well as Welfare support.

He further assured Nigerians and the international community that Carniriv 2012 will be very unique and long-lasting memorial for participants. ‘‘We seek to raise the bar of excellence this year by putting together a world-class festival organised in Nigeria tested professionals from different walks of life”, he stated.

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