No doubt Idanre town is a haven of tourism with cultural tourism as its major source of attraction and also other aspect of tourism such as mountaineering referring to the Mare festival, but taking a glance at the whole concept of tourism in Idanre and its environs, it is obvious that Idanre is not offering up to the average of what it can offer tourism wise.
Here, I am not going to talk down on the state of tourism but rather, I will review some of the ways in which the concept of tourism can be developed with the aid of what I like to describe as the three A’s i.e.
Attractions: an attraction is that one thing or couple things that you cannot get in your place of residence and therefore have to travel to another destination to experience or make use of. In other words, an attraction is the pulling force of a destination site, bringing various visitors from different parts of the world to a particular location. Idanre hills is without a doubt a prolific tourism attraction in that it gives the visitor/tourist a feel of nature while telling the history of the people at the same time.
But there is a concept missing in the management of this site and that is SUSTAINABLE TOURISM. This is a concept where by a destination site is managed in such a way that its resources are not depleted/exhausted by the current generation but used and conserved for future generations. Suffix it to say that this site should be properly conserved and managed bearing in mind that it belongs to the future generation.
Accessibility: when we talk about accessibility what jumps to mind immediately is road networks and cars but in tourism, accessibility is way more than that, it involves the movement of visitors from the place of residence to the destination as well as within the destination. It’s no news that the town of Idanre does not have its own trans route as well as its own cab service, what they rely on is the commercial bikers locally called “Okada”.
This in itself poses a threat to tourism service in the town. In some cases, the means of transportation itself serves as a the main or supplement attraction in a site, for instance, transportation is the main source of attraction when it comes to Cruising the seas or ocean while the cable car such as witnessed in Obudu cattle ranch serves as a supplement attraction to the cattle ranch itself. Installing a cable car in Idanre hills does not make extinct the stairs used in climb to the top but it offers an alternative to the visitors.
On one of my visits to the site a while back, I met with a British tourist named Dirk, so I struck up a conversation with him, and he said though the hike up the was stressful, his visit to the site was worth the stress and the hike itself contributed to the fun.
Talking more on accessibility within the destination, during this same visit to Idanre hills, there were several attractions in the destination which I and most people who visit the site would have been looking forward to but were disappointed because the guide told us that attractions such as the agboogun footprint were inaccessible. As such, accessibility should be given the utmost importance in Idanre Hills.
Accommodation: including place to sleep or rest as well as the hospitality .i.e. the reception of the local residence towards visiting tourist can go a long way to determine a second visit or recommendation to friends to friends to encourage a first visit. With regards to the aspect, the people of Idanre are lacking only in a minute aspect.
An instance being the visit of some archaeologists to the town a while back and they were sent packing, though my believe is that if they are educated to see the importance of such activities they will learn to make a more enlightened decision towards such situations.