The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], Folorunsho Coker, has stressed the need to redefine the tourism sector, “a redefinition of what tourism is as an industry, as a site and as a channel through which we drive the increase in consumption of tourism assets in Nigeria”.
“Our initial focus is on domestic tourism, to make the best use of what we have and CONSUME MORE OF NIGERIA”, he said.
Coker said this while receiving an eight-man team of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies [NANTA] which paid him a courtesy visit at the Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
The NTDC boss, who described the Corporation as a corporate member of NANTA expressed the readiness of the Corporation to be a worthy partner to NANTA in championing the course of tourism in Nigeria, and collaborate with the association on the area of statistics and data collection, to enable private investors know which state has potentials to explore and develop.
Coker asked that for a working partnership between the private and the public sector in the development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria. He added that public/private partnership will boost the tourism agenda of Nigeria.
The National President of NANTA, Bankole Bernard, earlier in his speech described the appointment of Folorunsho Coker as a blessing to the tourism sector, saying, “I am sure that the good work he did with the Lagos tourism would be replicated in the 36 states in Nigeria”.
Bernard expressed dissatisfaction about the manner in which the promotion of tourism is being managed in Nigeria, saying, “Tourism has not been well developed, promoted and packaged because the country had wholly depended and focused on the oil sector. Tourism is everything. We all have to embrace it and take it seriously”.
NANTA National President who called for a conscious investment in the promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria, described the country as a potential tourism market, with a vibrant and dynamic business environment especially with the improved Nigerian’s image under the present administration.
Despite the aforementioned, the NTDC press release did not explain how, when and what to be done. From history, NANTA has not contributed anything significant to promote tourism apart from selling tickets on behalf of local and mostly internationally airlines.