They made the call during the seven wonders of Naija zoom meeting organised by Mr Ikechi Uko of AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market.
The theme of the meeting was: “Where to Visit in Nigeria: Issues of Access and Security”.
The practitioners said that visiting natural tourism sites like the waterfalls, beaches and every attraction relating to eco-tourism had a way of refreshing human thought and feeling, likewise allaying depression.
Mr Olugbenga Sunday, the Managing Director, Ibarapa Tourism Agenda, said nature played huge role in human life, urging Nigerians to explore natural tourism sites within the country to get over psychological problems.
Sunday said that Ibarapa Central Local Government of Oyo state had seven towns which were bounded by a language and well-endowed with unique natural tourism attractions.
He said one of such attractions was the Idere Hills which served as the settlement for some of the forefathers years back and a tourist will take three hours to conveniently explore the site.
According to him, topmost on the Idere Hills was a lake with the shape of a fish, also a defence wall built some 300 years ago.
He urged Nigerians to visit Idere Hills, Kwa Falls in Calabar, Iko beach in Akwa-Ibom state where a unique Island beach could be explored.
“These tourism sites are places I have visited and they are fascinating, I advise that we encourage visitation to these sites to tap from nature.
“The Cocoa house in Ibadan built in 1965 with 26 storey building is a place where the entire Ibadan could be viewed right from its top. It has a hall of fame and a museum.
“The twins festival always celebrated annually in Igboora, Oyo State is another event to grace because it had been observed that 20 per cent of births in the town were usually multiple births which was attributed to the consumption of a local delicacy peculiar with the town called Ilasa,” Sunday said.
Also, Obinna Emelike, a Tourism Journalist with Business Day, said it was important for tourists to visit natural tourism sites due to the therapeutic effect it had on humans.
Emelike suggested the second largest lake in Nigeria called Oguta Lake located in Oguta town in Imo State as a place to visit
He said the Oguta Lake featured a confluence of Njaba and Orashi rivers just like the confluence in Lokoja, Kogi state.
According to him, this is a display of nature and beauty to behold.
“Likewise, the Nike Lake in Enugu State where tourists could be entertained with several cultural and traditional dances, local delicacies and nature.
“The lushness, freshness, tranquil nature of the environment in Ibom Resort, Oguta Lake, Nike Lake, the Elizade Smoking Hill in Ondo is second to none.
“These are natural tourism sites where people can have contact with nature. This is necessary because nature has some therapeutic effects; it allays depression and all forms of negative feelings.
“These sites are secured and the road network to the sites should not be a barrier to visiting,” Emelike said.
Mr Stephen Isokariari, Chief Executive Officer, Dial Travel Bureau, said another tourism site to properly explore nature was the Azumini Blue River located in Abia State.
He said the river could be linked to Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Abia States, saying it was touted that no other river was as clear and blue as the Azumini Blue River.
“The Azumini Blue River is a place to be when depressed. It is surrounded by beauty and nature, lush green and cool water but needs to be well maintained,” he said.
Justina Ovat of Calabar Hospitality House, said some of the tourism sites to explore in line with nature were Ibom Resort in Akwa-Ibom State, La Campagne Tropicana Resort in Lagos, Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi and Kajuru Castle in Kaduna.
She said all the aforementioned attractions had beautiful accommodation facilities.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)https://nnn.ng/tourism-practitioners-harp-on-therapeutic-effect-of-exploring-nature/
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