The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has urged the Federal Government to ensure that the budgetary allocation for the tourism industry is increased to upscale the sector.
Mr Nkereuwem Onung, National President of FTAN, made the call during the commemoration of the World Tourism Day celebration, held in Lagos on Tuesday.
The commemoration ceremony had stakeholders in the tourism industry experience boat cruise from Tarzan Jetty at Victoria-Island to Tarkwa Bay Beach, showcasing the acquatic endowments in Lagos State.
Onung said that according to the dictate of the theme for the year, “Rethinking Tourism”, there was need for the federal government to have a rethink on the annual budgetary allocation earmarked for the tourism industry.
“The tourism industry has been underfunded over the years as it has been merged with the culture and information ministry.
“FTAN calls on the federal government to rethink the level of investment and funding for tourism in Nigeria through increased budget allocation.
“The budget profile should increase capital budget to exceed recurrent one,” he said.
Onung noted that to make the tourism industry function optimally, government needed to create a sole ministry of tourism instead of merging tourism with culture and information.
He called on all tourism leaders, government officials and everyone at the base of the broad and diverse tourism pyramid to pause, reflect and rethink what is done and how things are done in the industry.
“The federal government should rethink merging tourism parastatals, rather should empower them to meet their mandates and give tourism a stand-alone ministry.
“It is time for Nigeria to have a tourism master plan and rejig her tourism policies if they exist.
“We must rethink how we think tourism, how we do tourism and the need to collaborate.
“We should engage in digitalising the industry, domestic tourism promotions and activities, purposeful and healthy lobbying to create an enabling environment for FTAN and the well over 20 associations under it.
“Lobbying is one area we need to adopt to enable us play our role as organised private sector; partnership and collaboration will be important to move our tourism promotions and businesses forward,” he said.
Chief Wanle Akinboboye, Chairman, La Campaigne Tropicana Resort, said it was high time government added value to the industry.
Akinboboye noted that if government could focus and invest in the creative and tourism industries, Nigeria’s economy would be able to compete favourably with California.
“It is time we begin to think practical tourism operations, concerted efforts should be made to transform attractions to destinations of choice before we think of marketing them,” he said.
Also, Chief Samuel Alabi, FTAN Board of Trustee Chairman, said that government must be consciously committed to the development of the tourism industry by harmonising the numerous taxes practitioners needed to attend to.
“FTAN is writing history today, which would be read by generations, government needs to do a lot to boost tourism,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Gani Balogun, Chairman, World Tourism Day planning committee, appreciated all the partners and sponsors of the programme.
Mr Friday Anumba, Director of Special Duties, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), says ‘Tour Nigeria’ will boost domestic tourism and Nigeria’s economy if properly utilised.
Anumba said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that ‘Tour Nigeria’ is the name of a tourism brand created by the NTDC to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria and inaugurated by Folorunsho Coker, the present Director-General of the NTDC in 2017. According to him, the present leadership of NTDC led by Coker is not resting.
It is striving so hard to ensure that domestic tourism moved to the next level.
“Coker, on arrival at NTDC, came with the product ‘Tour Nigeria’.
Some of the products under ‘Tour Nigeria’ include Nigeria Flavor.
“This is the product where you have to showcase Nigerian foods, fashion, movies, and music among others.
“As you can see, our Nigerian music artists are doing great by ruling the world with their music.
’’ According to him, when you talk of Burna Boy, his music is all over the world, portraying the kind of asset Nigeria has in tourism.
He said the “message we have for the world is ‘Tour Nigeria‘, visit Nigeria, see Nigeria, eat Nigeria food, wear Nigeria fashion, see the sites and monuments in Nigeria.
’’ Anumba also said that the Nigerian Association of Tour operators (NATOP), an association under Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), had a prominent role to play in the tourism sector.
He said that though NTDC had the responsibility of marketing Nigeria as a tourist destination, NATOP has the tour packages.
Anumba said that NATOP aim was to sell the products in tourism, as they have the tour packages put together.
“We have a lot of things that will attract people from outside the country to come and see in Nigeria.
“In doing so, we should be able to get people to know that Nigeria is not all about crime, but a place you can do business, have leisure and relax.
“The negative impression that we have in this country are some of the things that tourism can be able to correct,’’ he said.
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) says it plans to market the acquatic endowment of Lagos State in commemoration of the 2022 edition of the World Tourism Day (WTD) slated for Sept. 27. Mr Nkereuwem Onung, National President of FTAN, during a news conference in Lagos on Monday, said this was to ensure the state explore its acquatic endowments for revenue generation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for this year’s WTD is “Rethinking Tourism”.
Onung said that going by the theme for the day, government and the private sector needed to engage in lots of thinking to reposition the tourism sector.
He noted that the federation had designed a number of activities for the day to draw Nigerians’ attention to the enormity of investment potential in the state, in the areas of acquatic tourism.
According to him, there will be a free boat cruise from Tarzan Jetty in Victoria Island to Tarkwa Bay Beach, which will showcase the beauty of exploring the waterways for tourism purposes.
“It is time to show the world the business of tourism, we want to assess the water economy in Lagos State, we want people to see that lots of revenue can be generated on the waterways through tourism.
“One of the activities for the day will be the biggest watercraft floatella, draped on Nigerian colours, this will showcase boat cruises on Lagos waterways and the adventure in water.
“Also, we will be having a dinner and award night where three individuals who have contributed to the growth of the tourism industry in the last one year will be apprecaiated.
“Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State will be appreciated for maintaining security in the state and his numerous investments in the tourism industry, this is to encourage the state to do more,” he said.
According to Onung, FTAN in the next one year will be committed to promoting acquatic tourism in the state and ensuring that jobs are created through the sector.
“We are looking at how government can look into that aspect of the economy, invest more in it, make the waterways safe for all and neat, a lot of revenue can be generated there,” he said.
Alhaji Gani Balogun, Managing Director, Association of Tourists Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), also Chairman Local Organising Committee of the WTD, said that individuals would have paid N1,800 each to experience a boat ride, if they were to go on their own.
Balogun noted that the Takwa Bay beach was choosen due to the minimal water waves and the neatness of the water.
He urged Nigerians to make it a date to get educated on how revenue could be generated on the waterways as experts would be engaged to talk briefly on the business aspect.
He appreciated the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police for their efforts in collaborating with FTAN to host the biggest boat cruise in Nigeria.
“We can also have boat cruises like those experienced in Florida and some other developed nations because we have all it takes, this is what we want to show to the world on Sept. 27, during the world tourism day.
“The boat cruise starts 10.00a.
m.,” he said.
The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), saddled with the responsibility of organising the annual National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), has inaugurated a Local Organising Committee ( LOC ) to put the event together.
Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, NCAC during the inauguration in Lagos, said serving the nation should be considered a greater honour than material possession.
Runsewe in a statement, urged members of the LOC to bring together new ideas and work as a team to add value to the iconic festival.
He said the festival, which had been slated to hold from Nov. 7 to 13 in Lagos, would have events unfolded at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos.
He said the Lagos and federal governments were working unanimously to ensure a successful festival.
He noted that this was geared towards attracting the attention of the world to the massive socio-economic development of Lagos State and Nigeria in general.
According to him, the involvement of the private sector tourism leadership cannot be over emphasised as they would be seen to market and mobilise stakeholders to the overall benefits of the festival.
Some of the individuals inaugurated in the committee were Mr Nkereweum Onung, National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN); Mrs Susan Akporiaye, National President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA); Mrs Ime Udo of the National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) and others.
Former Governor of Cross River, Sen.
Liyel Imoke, has urged government at all levels to create incentives for tourism operators to effectively boost the development and promotion of the sector to a more enviable level in Nigeria.
Imoke spoke during the 25th Annual General Meeting and tourism conference of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) in Abuja on Thursday, with the theme, “Nigeria Tourism: The way forward”.
Imoke, in a statement on Friday said that this was the only way to practically grow the sector and make it contribute meaningfully to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said that though tourism was private sector driven, but in Nigeria, the government ended up being the mover instead of the private sector.
Imoke decried this development, which he said had greatly hindered the growth of the sector in the country.
He said to ensure tourism growth, government must look critically into its role and focus more on providing different forms of incentives for the investors and operators who were commited to growing the sector.
“Tourism has to be private sector driven with government as the enabler but sometimes, government becomes the mover.
“Government must create incentives as one of the mandatory roles otherwise we would not grow the industry,” he said.
Imoke explained that Nigeria had all it takes to have a vibrant tourism industry.
“The disagreement between the government and the private sector should not define the industry, the industry is bigger than all of us and it will continue to grow,” he said.
According to him, data and statistics were key factors in setting the pace for practical tourism as he highlighted the challenges posed by lack of data to plan and determine the contribution of tourism to the economy.
He said the unattractive nature of Nigerian tourism was due to the lack of tourism culture among Nigerians, insecurity and cultural beliefs.
“The greatest challenge I find is insecurity and access to tourism, which government has to provide and when government fails then the investors and operators too fail.
“These are critical issues that we must address; why is the tourism budget shrinking when we have a sector that we want to grow; how and when do we create capital for the industry; Is tourism a luxury good or is it a necessity; all of these are part of the challenges that we face,” he said.
Mr Ademola Ige, Special Adviser on Tourism to Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has reassured of the state’s determination to partner with the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), for tourism promotion.
Ige in a statement on Sunday, said that this was necessary to actualise the tourism agenda of Gov.
Makinde-led administration of the state.
The Special Adviser gave the assurance on Friday in Oyo State when FTAN delegates paid him a courtesy visit.
He said the visit was an effective mechanism to make the state’s tourism alliance bring rapid results.
He noted that the visit was indeed timely as it came when the state was preparing for the 2022 World Tourism Day celebration slated for Sept.
” The World Tourism Day is a special day set aside by the state to celebrate and promote the rich tourism potentialities Oyo state is blessed with.
” Since the inception of our world tourism day celebration, we have been making it a point of duty to carry the private sector along, especially the members of FTAN, with tourism promotion as our main mission and focus,” he said.
Ige noted that the state had huge tourism resources capable of boosting its economy, if more was invested in the area of private and strategic collaborations.
Mr Tunde Kolade FTAN South-West Cordinator, emphasised the need for a stand-alone state culture and tourism ministry to give the industry a pragmatic voice.
Kolade said this was the only way for tourism to have a structural and visible attention to effectively make a difference in the state economy.
” It is true that we must separate culture and tourism from the ministry of Information, to make it a full fledged ministry so that it can take care of its core and allied tourism sectors with all other value chain of the industry getting the right attention.
” We know tourism in some states has a separate ministry and things are working well for them but that has not been operational here in Oyo State.
” But you know there must be a legislation to make that a reality and I think the house of assembly has that jurisdiction; we will work towards that.
” They have to visit the laws establishing that sector and make amend to include advocacy for a stand alone ministry for culture and tourism in the state,” he said.
Earlier, Oyo State Co-ordinator for FTAN, Mr Wale Olapade, highlighted the need for a public and private sector alliance to effectively promote and strategically position the state as the pace setter in tourism potentialities.
Olapade also stressed the need to create avenues for mutual benefit for the federation and Oyo State Government.
He said there were more to collaborations than just the initial statement, urging the state to see FTAN as a partner in progress.
He explained that this should be done with the agenda to give tourism its rightful place as a money spinner and job creation avenue that would boost the economic bid of Gov Mankinde.
He noted that Oyo state’s Ado Awaye suspended lake which had been tagged as second in the world, was the only natural site of such in the world.
He said the western stereotype of naming a man-made suspended lake in Colarado, USA as the first was a wrong narrative.
He, however, called on Oyo state to endeavour to take its rightful place by telling its story itself.
” Our story is better told by us because it is our abode and it is not foreign to us so why should others rank us second when naturally we are first and the record is there for everyone to see,” he said.
Mr Nkereuwem Onung, President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), says gastronomy will lead to sustainable development to sustain the economy and boost tourism in Nigeria.
Onung said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that 2022 World Sustainable Gastronomy Day was celebrated on June 18, with the theme ‘Placing Nigeria Food on International Map.
NAN also reports that the day was organised by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism in Abuja.
According to Onung, the theme of this year’s celebration calls for more work, in ensuring that local cuisines get into international markets well packaged.
“When you sustain gastronomy, you sustain the economy, look at our hotels; they depend on certain amount of input from the farm every single day.
“So, if that hotel is doing well, the farm will never lack source, that is the main reason why we will continue to celebrate the day.
“We are unable to export food to other countries effectively, as well as proper packaging, due to its cumbersome process.
“It requires a lot of food processing and preservation technologies in order to arrive there,” he said.
Onung said that placing Nigeria’ food in the international market was possible, as it would boost the economy because of its unique delicacies, rich culture, and to enhance tourism.
Mr Otunba Olumoko, Vice President, Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria, South – West Zone, said gastronomy would help inform the world about Nigeria’s rich variety of foods, drinks and beverages.
“Like what happened on June 18, which was ‘World Sustainable Gastronomy Day’. it was a remarkable event because that was the first time food exhibition recorded large scale attendance.
“We had about 35 to 40 local and international exhibitors on that day, hopefully next year I believe the number will increase.
“What makes it more beautiful was the ‘Mobile Hospitality Training Kitchens’, which I considered magnanimous move.
“The truck can be parked in an outdoor event, even on the streets, and food displayed can be served hygienically at lower costs,” Olumoko said.
Gastronomy is a cultural expression of nations through their food choices, sources of ingredients and types of cuisines which thrive culturally.
Nigeria is one of the most competitive Gastronomy tourist destinations in Africa because of its unique foods culture and enticing cuisines of international repute.
The Federal Government has requested interested and qualified Nigerians to submit applications for United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Scholarship on basic training in the field of tourism.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, made the announcement in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Applications are hereby invited for the Tourism Online Academy Scholarships for a one-month programme.
“The courses are flexible by design and participants can learn at their own pace and convenience throughout the process.
“Participants will earn a Certificate upon completion of the course and the accompanied quiz,” she stated.
The Permanent Secretary recalled that the UNWTO recently granted 100 Online Academy Scholarships to Nigeria for the award of Certificate on ‘Introduction to Tourism-Industry Management Course’ in conjunction with IE University of Spain.
She said 70 of the 100 slots had been allotted to the organised private sectors in tourism, the Ministry and its relevant agencies.
According to her, the organised private sector included the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET) among others.
Anyanwutaku said 30 slots were reserved for interested members of the public who must meet a set-out criteria.
She said the candidates must either be a Graduate of Tourism or have at least five (5) years working experience in tourism either in a public or private sector tourism organisation
The Permanent Secretary added that a student of Tourism in a Nigerian University or Government approved Tourism Institute is also qualified for the programme.
She said candidates must have access to a computer with internet facility and must complete the 100 per cent online free-of-charge course to qualify for the scholarship.
“Candidates must score at least 60 per cent in the course to qualify for the certificate;
“On completion of the course, candidates should forward a screenshot of their course score as evidence to the Ministry through the designated email.
“Only candidates with evidence of completion of the course will be given the Scholarship Code with which to access the Certificate from IE University;
“Candidates must forward their names, email, phone number and to the Department’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 1st June 2022.
“The Scholarship Code expires on 31st October, 2022,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the UNWTO granted the scholarship awards in April in Madrid, Spain, at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and the Organisation on the hosting of the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry.
The UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, had said the scholarship award was granted in recognition of the efforts of Nigeria and its Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to empower youths and boost quality education in tourism.
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has launched a TRIAC mandate to strategically reposition the federation for sustainability in the tourism industry.
Its National President, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, made the disclosure at the National Tourism Transortation Summit and Expo held in the Abuja on Thursday, a statement said.
He said that the TRIAC entailed Tourism Marketing, Research and Development, Insurance Policy, Advocacy and Capacity Building.
Onung said it was time to give meaning to tourism in terms of practical innovation and creativity that will re-engage and give stakeholders the pride of place in the tourism business and its allied sector.
According to him, this is done to grow domestic tourism market and position Nigeria as a leading business tourist destination in Africa.
He noted that the TRIAC mandate will involve a strategic tourism marketing through the public and private sector partnership.
He said this was for the identification of the needs, wants and satisfaction of the segments market in the planning and designing of local, regional, national and international tourism products.
” Nigeria is a dynamic entity with diverse opportunities and market segments and to actually give the best to the consumers of our rich and robust potentialities.
” There is serious needs for a comprehensive marketing model to basically meet the demands of the various target markets,” he said.
Onung identified Research and development as major factors in determining the pace and workability of the mandate.
He said this will help in measuring and assessing information for decision making, understanding the characteristics, preferences, attitudes and opinions of visitors.
He noted that insurance was an unavoidable component of tourism advisory as it was a way of providing travel safety and quarrantees of compensation.
He explained that insurance would take care of making the industry safe for both the sellers and buyers tourism products and services irrespective of the demography of stakeholders and market segments,
“ FTAN with embark on lobbying government and other stakeholders in order to gain support and make recommendations.
“ We are also seriously looking into capacity building as a major yard stick in changing attitudes and behaviours through imparting knowledge and developing skills of persons in the industry.
“ On this ground, we have had talk with different industry based stakeholders on collaborations on making the capacity building bid a worthwhile effort to position the federation,” he said.
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), on Thursday inaugurated its Tourism and Creative Industry Trade Group to create sustainable adventure tourism opportunities and networking among members.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Mrs Olayemi John-Mensah, Officer, ACCI.
Inaugurating the group, Dr Idi Hong, ACCI Vice President on Communication Strategy and External Relations, highlighted the importance of tourism to the development of a country.
According to Hong who is also the Chairman of the group, tourism boosts the revenue of the economy, creates jobs, develops the infrastructure of a country and plants a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens.
While pointing out that tourism and travel were broad and unique businesses, Hong said that ACCI designated the trade group to harmonise its various components to achieve desirable result.
Hong said membership of the Tourism and Creative Industry Trade Group had several benefits, including providing platform for marketing, creating a cultural exchange between tourists and local citizens and promoting international connections.
According to him, the platform also helps to put Nigeria on the global map, advocate for industry interest and networking for the advancement of the tourism and creative industry.
“Nigeria has invested so much in the tourism and hospitality sector because that is the soul of the economy.
“We of the private sector are major partners of the government in this push to provide necessary trade and hospitality services for the economy to thrive,’’ Hong said.
He commended the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), the Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
Others are the Hotel Owners’ Forum Abuja (HOFA), Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and the National Council of Art and Culture (NCAC).
Others in the list are the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and other handling Tourism and Hospitality sectors of Nigeria.
The Director-General of ACCI, Victoria Akai informed participants that the only way Nigeria could develop in the aspect of tourism and hospitality was to commit to stronger synergy.
“This entails having powerful collaboration between the travel and hospitality industry, the business community in general together with government,’’ Akai said.
She emphasised the need to leverage innovation to encourage 21st century activities in the trade group, adding that developing new ideas was the way forward to improve tourism and hospitality. (