Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, has also said that the need to create all-inclusive holidays, business or religious trips that would be easily accessible for tourists in the country to develop domestic tourism, was essential to the sector.
Coker said this when he met with members of the Hotel & Personal Services Employers’ Association of Nigeria (HOPESEA) led by its President, Mr. Ugbor Vincent, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja recently.
Coker stressed the need for all the stakeholders in the tourism industry to come together and sell a single package tour as it is done in Dubai, India, Kenya and other parts of the world while describing music, entertainment, fashion, cuisines and religion as part of good tourism assets the country is endowed with, which will boost the Nigerian tourism industry, create wealth and job opportunities.
“Nigeria is endowed with such tourism assets and untapped potentials which can be developed for domestic consumption and exportation; we need to give a new meaning to tourism through a digital platform which will anchor a complete trip, usually including cost for accommodation, meals, ground transport, tour guide taxes in an all-inclusive trip at a fair price, he said.
The NTDC boss further sought for a strategic working partnership between the HOPESEA and NTDC, as the corporation is set to grade hotels according to international standards similar to other parts of the world.
He said, “We can only achieve our goals if private sector and corporate Nigerians support the tourism sector. Government alone cannot do it, we need to embrace tourism in Nigeria and work towards promoting the tourism industry collectively.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, has called on tourism stakeholders in the country to put their hands on deck and move the industry to the next level.
Muhammed said, “This effort must be collective and should attract the best of Public-Private Partnership.”
He added that, “Nigeria has strong comparative advantages in the hospitality and tourism industry because of its diverse cultural heritage that is disposed to what is commonly referred to as the Nigerian hospitality.
“This great nation is indeed blessed with abundant natural and cultural resources that are well blended for tourists’ delight. It is against this background that the Federal Government is committed to repositioning tourism as one of the levers for economic growth and development,” Muhammed said.