, Nigeria News Agency
Tourism is recognised globally as one of the world’s top revenue generating sector. Successive governments in Nigeria had always put policies in place to boost the revenue generating capacity of the sector.
Since it commenced operation, the NTDC has been active in the areas of promoting, coordinating and marketing tourism activities.
This, among other times, manifested in 2010, during the FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa, as NTDC “created a Nigerian village in Cape Town.’’ The village showcased Nigerian culture and lifestyle.
The success of that initiative encouraged the corporation to plan a similar event for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
A state like Lagos State has also made effort to sell its tourism potential to the world through its consistent participation in the annual Noting Hill Carnival in London.
Mr Folorunsho Coker, NTDC Director General, recently advised state governments to collaborate with the Federal Government to boost tourism in states.
Coker made the suggestion while receiving Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
He said that tourism had huge revenue generating potential, and called on all tiers of government to cooperate to harness gains in the sector.
Akingbile-Yusuf promised that Lagos State would take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by NTDC to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa.
The Lagos commissioner said that the collaboration would further provide the opportunity to market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and globally.
“Lagos is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts, and tourism development,’’ she assured.
In spite efforts by government, Nigeria is yet to generate the desired revenue from the tourism sector.
In 2016, globally, 7.6trillion dollars, equivalent to 10.2 per cent of global GDP, and 26 million jobs, were generated in the travel and tourism sectors.
Dr Sheriff Ibrahim of the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, said this was an indication that the tourism sector of the international economy was comparatively doing better than oil.
He said that states need to invest heavily in the tourism sector in order to benefit from the huge economic potential in the sector.
The World Trade and Tourism Council, in 2007 estimated that Nigeria was likely to generate revenue exceeding 10 billion dollars (about 3.5 trillion naira) from travel and tourism related activities.
But that target has not been realised till date.
Mr Oyedeji Oyekunle, former Chief Technical Officer at the National Gallery of Arts, said Nigeria need more tourism sites to generate the deserved revenue.
”The major setbacks are the absence of tourism infrastructure, and manpower deficiency in the tourism sector,” he posited.
He advocated for infrastructural development like roads and accommodation in tourist sites. He cited the example of Aqua Resort near the Calabar River, which has decent accommodation that attracts hordes of tourists.
He equally bemoaned the dearth of tourism experts in the top management of Nigeria’s tourism related institutions.
Keen observers agree that a vibrant aspect of tourism in Nigeria is cultural tourism as seen in events like the Eyo Masquerades, Calabar and Abuja carnivals.
Sports tourism has also led to development of golf courses in several Nigerian towns, but adequate manpower is required to further develop the sector.
Several stakeholders, however, blame the international community for always orchestrating negative happenings in Nigeria and urged Nigerians to reject the ‘campaign of calumny’ and begin to tell the country’s story to the world.
Mrs Bilkis Abdul, the National President of National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), while urging government to solve the several challenges in the country to encourage tourism, however said that such challenges like insecurity should not discourage investment in tourism.
Abdul, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of BBOOG Travels and Tours, told NAN that investment in tourism would contribute immensely to improving government revenue.
`Challenges such as insecurity are not enough to discourage us from promoting tourism, and they should not scare tourists from Nigeria.
“Some of those countries that receive huge population of tourists yearly also grapple with one security challenge or the other, but they still reap optimal benefits from their tourism sectors, due to the level of commitment, and the investment they make in the sector,’’ she said.
She urged government to encourage tour operators in the country to optimally sell Nigeria’s tourism potential.
“The tour operators are the ones that sell tourism. They know the tourist attractions and they know where exactly to take tourists to.
“Tour operators are ready to sell Nigeria’s tourism potential to the outside world, but government should provide what we can sell. This can be done by developing the tourist sites and providing the necessary infrastructure around them,’’ she advised.
According to Dr Momoh Kabir, Director General of National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), an average Nigerian is hospitable and accommodating to visitors.
“We are aggressive, but very hospitable and kind. We need to showcase those positive aspects of our behavioural patterns to attract tourists to Nigeria,’’ he said.
Kabir described tourism as an activity that enables people leave their abode to other places, depending on the attraction, where they do not have to work but just spend money for leisure.
He said that most of the tourist attractions that propel some Nigerians to travel to some other countries were present across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
He said: “If we have capable hands to drive the tourism industry, it will help a lot in the economic diversification programme of the present dispensation.
“We depend so much on oil, but tourism, either natural or man-made, can give substantial amount of revenue to run the economy.’’
The NIHOTOUR DG said that all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria had tourist sites of different types that can create employment and increase contribution to the GDP.
He cited examples of some smaller African countries that were already reaping huge benefits from the sector.
“Within the West Africa sub region, Gambia is smaller than Nigeria, but `root tourism’ drives their economy today.
“They take tourists to their rural areas where they live among the rural populace. It enables them to have meaningful interaction with the local people, and they have a lot of money to spend,’’ he said.
Former governor Donald Duke of Cross River, described tourism as the most viable sector of global economy.
Thus, while in office, he made it one of the priority areas of his administration.
Duke inaugurated a tourism bureau charged with the task of policy formulation and implementation of tourist sites.
He also initiated the Obudu Ranch Mountain Race as a way of boosting tourism in the state.
The state has continued to build on these initiatives even long after Duke ceased to be governor.
Nigeria can boast of investible tourist sites like the Yankari National Park in Bauchi State; Kainji Lake Park in Niger; Gashaka Games Reserve in Adamawa; Oguta Lake Resort in Imo and Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun .
There are also craft materials like textiles from places like Osogbo and Benue, ceramics, wood carvings, among others.
All these, added to roomy rivers and clean beaches; unique wild life, all suitable for holidaying.
According to John Agbai, a culture and tourism enthusiast, government only needs to show enough commitment for the country to boost its revenue drive from tourism.
‘’Countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia have made conscious effort to develop tourism and have started reaping enormous benefits,” he said.
Agbai said that without the government leading the way, private investors will not show adequate interest in tourism.
He also recommended development of transportation to embrace ‘recreation transportation,’ and extension of rails to tourist attractions like beaches and lakes as some of the measures that will make tourism attractive and boost Nigeria’s revenue drive.
However, the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency on the one hand, and sundry cases of kidnap on the other hand, further compound the task of projecting tourism.
A more functional approach to tackling such challenges will further boost the sector.
The NIHOTOUR’s DG Kabir, described tourism as a sector that `is shy of insecurity.’ He urged government to tackle security challenges in the country more decisively, so as not to scare potential tourists.
According to him, tourism is a sensitive sector, but insecurity has the tendency to scare visitors that might want to come.
“People want to go to beaches to relax, but they want to visit safe and beautiful beaches.
“There is also the aspect of culture. Cultural tourism is the strength Nigeria and indeed Africa has. We should be able to revive our cultures, nurture them and showcase them to the world,’’ he said.
He added that tourism sites can also attract infrastructural development.
“ If there is a waterfall in a village, for instance, it will encourage government to construct roads to that site.
“Government will also provide hospitals because people can fall sick while visiting the site,’’ he said.
As government intensifies effort to diversify the economy and boost revenue, it should unarguably pay special attention to exploiting the huge potential in the tourism sector. (NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as Nigeria News Agency
Short Link: https://wp.me/pcj2iU-33aO
- Almost 11,000 migrants waiting for visas to join family in Germany
- Grave violations against children in conflict remain ‘alarmingly high’- UN
- Insurgency: Zulum urges resumption of Naval operations in Baga
- NYSC organises free medical outreach for Lagos residents
- NYSC medical outreach benefits 2m Nigerians — DG
- Chadian activist seeks Nigeria’s support to restore peace in his country
- Osinbajo rallies youths on active engagement in politics
- LASG gives 3-day ultimatum to property owners encroaching on canals
- Patricide: We’ll rely on advice from DPP – Police
- We are supporting states to intensify cholera outbreak response – NCDC By Abujah Racheal
- Widow of slain Oyo journalist wants killers brought to justice
- Buhari appoints Ekpungu EFCC Secretary, names board members
- Gunmen kill ATM customer in Ibadan
- Makinde inaugurates Oyo Security Network board, Amotekun corps
- Nigerian army dismisses video of soldiers mutilating suspect
- Anambra 2021: PDP NWC meets stakeholders, sues for unity
- FG pays N10b to 1m beneficiaries every 2 months -Coordinator
- COVID-19: Union urges Nigerians in S/Africa to obey new lockdown rules
- COVID-19: World Bank, AU partner to support vaccination for 400m Africans
- President Buhari reassures commitment to tackle insecurity
- Verification: customs threatens to detain defaulting airplanes
- Niger to support special squad to rescue Islamiyyah children
- Association hails FG’s agric intervention programmes
- $430m Enugu-Cameroon highway to be completed before 2021 end – AfDB
- U.S. ready to meet N. Korean officials ‘anywhere, anytime’ – Envoy
- Rural Entrepreneurship: Agency empowers 200 women, youths in FCT
- Alleged sexual assault: Baba Ijesha to be arraigned on June 24
- Yoga practice best under supervision to prevent complications – Physician
- My faith in young generation unshakable — Aisha Buhari
- Court remands man for allegedly beating woman to death
- NYSC offers free medical services to 2 million rural dwellers
- 46th Birthday reflections by Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State – Full Speech
- Iranian nuclear power plant shut for technical reasons
- 49th Birthday reflections by Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State – Full Speech
- Crocodiles kill Indonesian mineworker
- Lagos-Abeokuta expressway: TRACE cautions truck drivers against speeding
- Buhari greets former I-G Solomon Arase at 65
- Germany records flat population growth first time in almost decade
- England’s COVID-19 vaccine bookings top 1m in 2 days
- E-Livestock Global fez o launch of the Mastercard solution based on blockchain (chain of blocks and dice) with the objective of increasing the visibility of the non-Zimbabwean bovine industry
- NAFDAC to register, certify premises of chemical manufacturers
- Russia urges attention on Iranian oil back to market
- Angelina Jolie visits Burkina Faso on Refugee Day
- COVID-19: Bereaved urges compassion for victims’ relatives By Cecilia Ologunagba
- COVID-19: Nigeria’s Consulate in New York embarks on vaccination drive
- COVID-19: NCDC reports zero cases June 20
- Troops eliminate 20 terrorists in Borno
- Qatar wants to allow only vaccinated fans to attend 2022 World Cup
- Switzerland crush Turkey but must wait on Euro 2020 hopes
- No loss of life in Marina fire outbreak — LASEMA
- NPFL: Plateau Utd humble Warri Wolves 2-0 to harvest maximum points
- UBEC commences inspection of model schools across Nigeria
- Request for daily stock record is statutory requirement — DPR
- Olympics-bound Anyanacho wins gold at Beirut Taekwondo open
- Kano govt. declares state of emergency on open defecation
- Troops foil terrorists’ attack, neutralise scores in Borno town
- FGC B/Yawuri: Troops rescue 4 more abductees, total now 11
- Fathers Day: You must live up to responsibility – cleric charges
- 25 home-based players to resume camping in Abuja for Mexico friendly Tuesday
- Nigeria earned N79.96bn from solid minerals in 2019, highest in 5 years – NEITI
- Borno govt to re-open farming activities – Official
- 24 states for maiden Lagos open athletics championships – Official
- Expo: MSME operators seek more research, fund to boost organic sector
- Police foil armed robbery attempt in Abuja
- Transforming: Agriculture and Food Processing in Nigeria
- Designer of 1004 Flats Housing Estate in Lagos, Fola Alade, is dead
- Nigeria’s consul advocates strategic engagement with S/Africa
- Video: Buhari thumbs up NLNG as NNPC reviews activities
- NiMet, FOA partner to ensure food security in Nigeria
- IMO lauds Nigeria’s leading role in securing Gulf of Guinea
- Nigeria’s South Africa mission issued 10,341 passports in 14 months – Envoy
- PDP stalwart seeks VAT reversal to 5%
- NDLEA arrests officer, 6 others for dealing in cocaine
- NGO advocates death penalty for looters of public funds
- Yar’Adua, Abu-Ali bag Yahaya Bello’s posthumous peace Idol award
- ASUU threatens industrial action over non-payment of members’ salaries
- All you need to know about Sickle Cell Disorder
- Oyo Police confirm murder of popular Ibadan radio presenter
- Sickle Cell Day: Author calls for awareness, adequate information
- Rivers council chairman to train 20 youths in maritime technology
- Vandalism: Works minister seeks NAN’s support on enlightenment
- How FG is deploying home-grown technology in road construction-Fashola
- Banana Village: From swamp to shelter
- Works ministry to revive Bridge Maintenance Unit–Fashola
- FG touching lives through expanded infrastructure, says Fashola
- FG will complete 2nd Niger Bridge next year: Fashola
- FG committed to affordable housing for Nigerians –Fashola
- Euro 2020: Spain, Poland in danger of early exit
- Work at Third Mainland Bridge critical for its preservation- Fashola
- Don’t block highways, Police warn protesters
- FG will complete key projects before 2023- Fashola
- FC Barcelona confirm agreement to sign Depay
- Bye-election: PDP wins Kaduna Assembly seat
- FGC Yauri Abduction: Gov. Bagudu to lead rescue operation in forest
- Golf plays significant role in life of military – CAS
- Buhari urges ECOWAS leaders to exert ‘pressure on Mali’ to return to civilian rule
- Buhari congratulates Guterres, Amina Mohammed on second tenure
- Insecurity: Imams demand religious leaders inclusion in national security architecture
- Buhari committed to economic diversification – Lai Mohammed
- FG to revitalise, reposition 6 zonal sickle cell centres
- Yoga key to community development, unity – Envoy
- Ooni sues for unity as Oluyin, Onibeju-Lekki visit palace
- Kogi Govt. unveils website to showcase achievements
- Police arrest bandit, recover AK47 rifle in Kaduna
- Truck crushes 2 persons on motorcycle to death in Ogun
- AfCFTA: Forum calls for integration of gender in trade services negotiation
- Bauchi residents lament erratic power supply
- Groups advocates safe environment, sexual education for children
- Abductions: International NGO tasks FG on safe, uninterrupted education
- Customs CG lauds Apapa Command for drug seizure
- Education, health, others to achieve 90% budget implementation through USAID project- Stakeholders
- New TCN transmission region to boost economic activities in Kano -Official
- Voter apathy characterise bye-election in Kaduna
- Navy arrests vandals with 210,000 litres of diesel
- NEMA advises residents as another tanker crashes, spills content in Lagos
- Physicians want states to curb GBV
- COVID-19 cases in Africa increase by 52% — WHO
- U.S. administered 300m COVID-19 vaccines in 150 days – Biden
- Rainfall: NiMet cautions aviation stakeholders on precautionary measures By Gabriel Agbeja
- Cardiologist says stress management crucial to tackling HBP
- Refugee Day: Abuja gets ‘City with Refugees’ status
- Students laud army’s selflessness in tackling security challenges
- Sports Ministry appoints Mikel Obi as Ambassador
- 95% of UTME candidates attain NIN requirement — JAMB
- 41m people under risk of famine, says WEP
- NiDCOM, NDLEA to build rehabilitation centers in Nigeria
- Gurin replaces Sani as aide to First Lady
- Turin replaces Sani as SSA to First Lady
- China-Nigeria cultures, civilisation contributes to world sustainable development – Envoy By Fortune Abang
- 46th Birthday: Stakeholders laud Gov. Bello’s giant strides in security, governance
- UNHCR applauds Nigeria’s “huge” contributions to catering to refugee’s needs
- Nigeria, APC is proud of you, Omo-Agege lauds Gov. Yahaya Bello
- Paradise estate residents demand title documents from developer
- Court discharges, acquits Delta Sen. Nwaoboshi of N322m laundering charge
- INEC begins online voter registration on June 28 – official
- WHO says 146,000 Africans die yearly from tobacco-related diseases
- Insecurity: Nigerian Army tasks officers, soldiers on critical thinking
- Insecurity: AU-ECOSOCC urges women involvement in peace mediation, resolution
- LPG tanker explosion: Lagos govt begins investigation
- Association to build judges capacity to tackle maritime cases
- FBNH harps on importance of financial statement to drive investments
- Expert recommends preferential COVID-19 vaccination for SCD patients under 16
- My administration will promote culture through tourism – Diri
- Angola registers over 5,500 deaths from malaria in first 5 months
- INEC confirms arrival of sensitive materials for Kaduna by-election
- 3 bodies recovered from Lagos LPG tanker explosion scene– NEMA
- N/East: 21 communities, 5 IDPs camps benefit from Mercy Corps’ peace initiative
- Gas explosion: 13 injured, 25 cars destroyed in Lagos – NEMA
- UN chief urges debt relief extension for middle-income countries
- We are ready to resume CVR on June 28 – INEC
- Nigeria reports 39 new COVID-19 infections, active cases now 1,490
- Police arrest man for raping stepmother By Yinusa Ishola
- WHO laments high suicide rate
- Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon tournament, Tokyo Olympics
- NEC backs move to check sexual assault
- Buhari mourns ex-Zambian President, Kaunda
- 18 parties jostle for Anambra Governorship election – INEC
- Buhari signs bond to end violence against children
- AU mourns Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda
- How my successor will emerge in 2023 – Gov. Ugwuanyi
- Africa’s COVID-19 infections surging by 20% amid third wave – WHO
- EndSARS: Judicial panels submitting reports – NEC
- Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda dies at 97
- I remain indebted to Nigerians for love shown to me – Buhari
- Air Peace begins daily flights to Ilorin
- EFCC boss dismisses reports linking serving minister to $37.5m property
- Armed robbery: 22-year-old man to die by hanging in Ekiti
- Ex-Philippine mayor killed for attacking police officer
- COVID-19: IMF says Nigeria’s economy ‘gradually’ recovering
- EFCC recovers N6bn, 30 estates, 32 automobiles in 3 months – Official
- SAP Young Professionals program extends digital capacity building for Lusophone Africa
- Digital Economy Policy: ACCI signs MoU, seeks private sector’s integration
- Security operatives deactivate IPOB/ESN criminals – DHQ
- Chinese astronauts arrive new space station
- SAP Young Professionals program extends digital skills development to Lusophone Africa
- Reps passed 41 bills in 2 years – Official By Femi Ogunshola
- Buhari to security agencies: Give no breathing space to terrorists, criminals
- E-Livestock Global Launches Blockchain-Based Mastercard Solution to Bring Visibility to Zimbabwe’s Livestock Industry
- Highly transmissible COVID-19 appears in Sri Lankan capital
- Gunmen abduct 4, kill policeman in Ogun
- Economist challenges W/Bank’s prediction on Nigeria’s inflation rate
- Ex-president Gbagbo returns home after 10 years in exile
- 38 AKSU programmes get NUC accreditation – VC
- NLNG Train 7 project, game changer for gas utilisation- IPMAN
- Iran urges voters to take part in Friday’s presidential election
- Tanzania plans to join COVAX vaccine-sharing facility — WHO
- Troops arrest suspected Chadian kidnapper, eliminate terrorists
- Arrest of kidnap kingpin excites Gov. Umahi
- President Buhari arrives Maiduguri for official visit
- Taking final stand on Nigeria oil, gas downstream sector deregulation
- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recommended for Australians above 60
- Osinbajo presides over virtual NEC
- MEDIA ADVICE – African Media Agency
- BitDAO Raises $ 230 Million to Launch One of the World’s Largest DAOs
- Okowa lauds TETFund for contributing to educational development
- Nigeria records 8 new COVID-19 infections – NCDC
- Enugu Police Commissioner orders rescue of Rivers United Coach
- Forum says monitoring of govt projects key to effective service delivery
- NLNG Train 7 project will boost gas usage — APC
- Safe space, key to restoring confidence for women, girls – UNFPA