By Ebere Chibuzor
Following the lifting of the ban on business activities in most parts of the country, stakeholders in the nation’s tourism industry have started to brainstorm on ways to improve the economy.
With just few weeks into the resumption of businesses, strategic discussions aimed at gearing up tourism businesses have been ongoing among practitioners in the sector.
Determined to grow successful inbound tourist destinations in the post covid-19 future, the stakeholders are putting efforts into tackling major challenges inhibiting the advancement of the sector.
According to them, one way of achieving this is by encouraging tourism experts to deploy their wealth of knowledge.
They are of the belief that such a step would play a vital part in creating more and better quality jobs, which is the key to boosting growth, reducing poverty and improving the standards of living.
In his views, renowned Nigerian Environmentalist Desmond Majekodunmi said that in coping with covid-19, he has been trying to get more food self-sufficiency.
Majekodunni who said that he is already growing more vegetables and producing fish, pointed out that the government and the private sector have to ensure good spacing and management in various tourism site available.
He equally advised that they should also follow safety practices.
“I don’t think we are well prepared for post covid-19.
The nation will never return to the old normal. Not just Nigeria but all other nations.
We hope that the attitude of the population towards nature will not go back to the old normal because it was the same attitude that brought about the problem of covid-19 in the first place and it is bringing about even worse problems.”
“So, if we go back to the massive abuse of nature and tedious activities against wildlife, and terrible pollution of the atmosphere and sea, then we will provoke far worse than just the covid-19.
So we don’t want to go back to the old normal. We want to go back to a new normal, where people are now living harmoniously with nature; where people are having far more regard for the creation.
On preparations for the post Covid-19 era, Chief Executive Officer, LVI Arts Gallery Julius Iyoghiojie said, “We are launching our LVI boat cruise for friends and family. We take people via our boats to see Lagos coastline and beaches. Also we are promoting Nigeria.
We have write-ups on Nigerian foods, clothing, languages and dressing. So we are exposing our great culture to both Nigerians and the world.
“We are prepared and continually adapting to the new realities. Online would continually grow for sure and also we are conscious of the protocol for physical location visits and meeting.
Well, we as believers are earnestly praying for this and we hope it happens soon.
We must at this time be thankful to all the medical works and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the government for what they have done so far. We appreciate their sacrifices.”
On his part, Director General, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Kangiwa said, he is aiming at rebuilding NIHOTOUR to become an African centre of excellence for sustainable tourism and hospitality personnel training.
Alhaji Kangiwa said, “NIHOTOUR would ensure deployment of latest internet technology to fast-track tourism manpower development, especially in the post Covid-19.
We will focus on bridging the knowledge gaps in Nigeria’s Hospitality and Tourism Industry, including working with all national and international tourism institutions and stakeholders.”