Founder of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Ikegun, Lagos,Dr. Wanle Akinboboye is a man of many firsts. A true visionary and entrepreneur, he has taken tourism in Nigeria by storm through his numerous projects and made an indelible mark in a hitherto undefined and under-exploited industry. His interventions span about 30 years since returning to
Founder of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Ikegun, Lagos,Dr. Wanle Akinboboye is a man of many firsts. A true visionary and entrepreneur, he has taken tourism in Nigeria by storm through his numerous projects and made an indelible mark in a hitherto undefined and under-exploited industry. His interventions span about 30 years since returning to these shores after a study stint in the United States.
Akinboboye’s La Campagne Tropicana has been described as a beach resort that is entirely an African themed enclave but enjoys a blend of natural and sophisticated aesthetics. In 2013, it was named the best beach resort in Nigeria and in 2014 it was named the best beach resort in West Africa in the annual Africa Travel Award organized by Akwaaba.
Tourism as an enterprise, made very little sense when the 29-year-old Akinboboye made his entrance and almost everyone he approached had one major reason or the other why it could not be done. Like a ‘Helloo! This is Nigeria’ kind of things. Well, he soon showed them that entrepreneurs ‘never say never’, and here we are today, exporting tourism.
Akinboboye’s passion for the promotion of African culture and his strides in tourism also distinguished him on a global scale. He became the Ambassador for tourism for the World Conference of Mayors in 2010 and currently doubles as Special Adviser on Tourism to the governor of Ondo State among others. But he wasn’t nearly done. He went on to start the La Campagne Club, Ikeja, Atunda Entertainment, Corporate Guards, and Motherland Beckons – a platform designed to sell Africa to the world, urging Africans in diaspora as well as individuals interested in Africa worldwide, to visit Africa on a recurrent basis.
Success is a magnet though. The US trained tourism enthusiast was visited in his Akure base recently by an envoy from the Cote d’Iviore government. Their mission was to present a request by President Alhassan Qattarato to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to release Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, his Special Adviser on Tourism, to help in the development of the country’s tourism sector.
According to the envoy, Cote d’Ivoire – an agricultural giant that is the largest producer of cocoa in Africa, is looking to diversify its economy with focus on tourism as a veritable source. To this end, the country last year signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the President of La Campagne Tropicana, Dr. Akinboboye, for the building of African-themed resorts (a replication of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resorts) in different locations across the country. He had also been honored in Cote d’Ivoire with a chieftaincy title – Chef Ole Tribu de Paouflor Izuerioula Region de Marahoue, which comes with responsibility of superintending over 151 villages in the region de Marahoue.
Across Nigeria, Akinboboye is seen not only as a resort owner and job creator, but a talent moulder as well. Over the years, he has nurtured interests in resort development, entertainment, and fashion. He even works in rural communities as a philanthropist. Some of his major discoveries are, ‘the drummer girl’, Aralola Olamuyiwa popularly known as ‘Ara’; and Oluwatoyin Oluwaferanmi Akinola also popularly called Afe Onikoko, who like her predecessor is a marvel to watch as a world class artist.
While we cannot begrudge the Ivorians their appreciation and pursuance of mastery, one can only hope that the governments of the remaining 35 states and indeed the Federal government do not fail to avail themselves of the potentially huge revenue to be made from standard tourism, through the amiable Akinboboye’s wealth of experience and expertise.
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