Returning from the journey of no return:  A reward for sustainable tourism

Maybe it’s because we fed her with coconut nurseries or it’s because we cleaned her grounds up – We were allowed to return.

The point of no return is of great historical value to Nigerians – This was a point where the slave masters shipped the captured slaves from Nigeria to anywhere they seem their trade would be more profitable.

It’s called “point of no return” because that’s where the land joins with the Atlantic Ocean – You definitely can’t return once you get into the ship. Or how well and how long do you think you can swim the Atlantic?
point of no return_atabo
For over 400 years, the route was used for the trans-Atlantic slave trade or better still triangular slave trade. This is how the trade works – European come down to Nigeria, take our resources, process it and then bring it back in exchange for our people as slaves.

History has it that the trade started around 1445 by a Portuguese called Prince Henry the navigator who initially took back with him 29 men as slaves and when he noticed the work efficiency of the black man, slave trade became “lucrative” for those that could venture into it.

However, it wasn’t easy for the “white men” to penetrate the African system because of a well-organized existing community. The only way for them was to entice the community chiefs with fancy objects like guns, mirrors, and co. For instance, an umbrella goes for 40 slaves, a ceramic bowl goes for 10 slaves, a gun goes for 40 slaves etc.

What were the guns used for? – To fight fellow Africans and amass more slaves to be sold to the white people. Africans were involved in destroying Africa.

With so much story revolving around this route, imagine how much money could be made from black tourism (a section of tourism that has to do with war and slave trades) – people who would like to walk on the route and some that may like to feel what the slaves felt (even though it’s for a little). Think about the beach at this route- that should be enough already.

Sustainable tourism isn’t a new term to be taken for granted most especially now that countries are having a large chunk of their GDPs coming from tourism.
Making a tourist destination amazing for both the tourist and the locals is what sustainable tourism says.

You don’t need a billion bucks to make a destination amazing. From simple acts like respecting the peoples culture, religion and tradition, to adding positively to their economy by purchasing items or paying for services, to improving their environmental conditions either by proper sanitation or planting where needed, to joining a sustaining campaign like anti-poaching and deforestation – Sustainable tourism can be promoted by anyone regardless of age, sex or financial circle.

In the case of the slave route, due to its beachside location, the major actions for sustainability was to clean up the beach sides and plant more coconut trees – Imagine how the route will look like in the next 5/7years when the trees grow along the beach sides with clean beaches for relaxation. – That’s sustainability.

I have started my own part. I hope you do the same. – Special thanks to Nnenaya Fakoya Smith a fellow sustainable tourism promoter and TVP Adventures.

Travel & Tourism

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