Lagos Countdown sets tourism record
THE Lagos 2014 Countdown has come and gone, but fond memories and records set at the event are still being relished in government circles.
Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), organiser of the event said at the weekend that the third edition surpassed expectations, and might have heightened the proposal to make it a frequent carnival.
The one-month long event to welcome the New Year at the Lagos Bar Beach was estimated to have 100, 000 participants and about N1billion worth of trade. At the end, however, about 200, 000 people were recorded, even as the trade-worth doubled in figure, LASAA said.
Managing Director of the agency, George Noah, said it was just as expected and confirms the theme: “Lagos Countdown Like Never Before.” Noah noted that though the money didn’t come directly into the coffers of the State, but it exchanged hands among Lagos residents and helped improve their lot as they participated in trade and commerce during the shows.
Also, lots of cash, it was gathered, exchanged hands in advertisement, trade and commerce, hotels and accommodation, transportation and movements and so on.
Noah said: “Countdown is about commerce, it is about brand development and the rest. 2014 was a unique countdown. We had almost four weeks to start our countdown but in other places, it is just once. New York does not feature 30 artistes it is only in Lagos that this happens.”
In addition to offering a viable platform for commerce, encouraging brand development, job creation, leisure, entertainment and tourism, 2014 Lagos Countdown served as institutionalization of an enduring crossover tradition that signified the end of one year and the celebration of the beginning of another in a splendid fashion.
According to him: “When you put up a show of this magnitude, you consider the lighting, the fireworks, stage and the crowd. Our friends from the United States and the United Kingdom who partnered with us helped us with the lighting, stage setting and fireworks.”
Due to the hype, the frenzy and smooth organisation of the 2014 countdown, the international community included Lagos among the top 10 tourist destinations for crossover events, even as the grand finale of the countdown featured on CNN for the first time.
Like the two previous ones, the 2014 event included music performances headlined by top music artistes, an enchanting cascade of lights, fireworks and pyrotechnics, all combining to transform the entire Bar Beach, in Victoria Island, Lagos, into a melting pot of culture, entertainment, leisure and commerce in an instant.
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), during one of his visits to the show, had expressed the need to make the event regular.
According to Fashola: “The countdown started as the last few days of the year event but has now become a whole month. For me, the work is not finished. What we have done here for about a month now must now happen here, every month, from then on, every day.
“That is when the story will be complete. When there will be commerce and sport, when there will be signing, when there will be buying and selling and when the whole world will fly into this city and the state and to this country and say that I am going to Lagos State Bar Beach water front. That is the dream,” Fashola said.
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