Home Uncategorized Nigeria Travel Week: Stakeholders prepare to showcase Nigeria

Nigeria Travel Week: Stakeholders prepare to showcase Nigeria

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Picture caption: L-R: President, NANTA Bankole Bernard, Representative DG NTDC, Mrs. Annette Ibe and organizer Nigeria Travel Week 2018, Mr. Efe Awana.

If Nigeria is to grow its tourism industry, stakeholders including Government must join hands to showcase the tourism sites, the culture, the hospitality of the people to attract tourists.

The benefits from tourism are enormous, it does not only generate foreign exchange into the country, it creates jobs,attracts investment and stimulates economic activities in the aviation industry.

However, while concerted efforts are being made by concerned stakeholders, a lot still needs to be done, this is perhaps the reason why the organizer of the Nigeria Travel Week, Mr. Efe Awana has put together again a 5-day programme not just to showcase the industry but to discuss in-depth problems bedeviling the sub-sector, solutions and the way forward.

At a news conference in Lagos, Mr. Awana said this year’s 2nd edition of the Nigeria Travel Week would feature tourism experts who would discuss building a career in tourism; changing boundaries in African tourism; investment opportunities in Nigerian tourism and tech trends for the tourism industry.

“Different states in Nigeria will provide snippets of their tourism offerings including hotels, museums and attractions, restaurants and cuisine. Visitors will be able to book holidays on the spot or create a dream package for the future”, he added.

“Stakeholders will discuss trends and solutions for growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria and Africa. Just like the theme for the year, Nigeria Travel Week 2018 is a result of a strategic partnership between the different major public and private sector stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism space including the NTDC, FTAN, NANTA, and SKAL Nigeria. The goal is a truly world class event to drive the change for a new narrative for domestic and inbound tourism in Nigeria”.

According to him, the week would provide a platform for stakeholders of the tourism industry to meet with the Director General of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, who would seek to deepen the level of collaboration within the industry.

“This is coming as the NTDC has been able to enter strategic partnerships with GOOGLE and Wikimedia to solve one of the fundamental problems facing tourism in Nigeria – information in a digital world”.

Representative of the NTDC Director-General, Mrs.Annette Ibe,Director South-West NTDC, said the Corporation was elated to be partnering with the Travel week as this would be a huge opportunity to better sell Nigeria and its abundant tourism sites.

She said there were so many sites in the country yet to be seen by Nigerians themselves, adding that domestic tourism must be promoted first to encourage more Nigerians savor the beauty of the environment.

“When we tour Nigeria, we will be able to see some untapped tourists sites, wonderful ones, there is some where in IMO state where two rivers come together like a clash, There is blue river, Azumini river, there are a lot of them we improve on and sell and attract these tourists to come”.

The role of the media cannot be under estimated in promoting tourism, that is why the President National Association of Nigeria Travel Agency, NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard wants the media to be in the forefront of promoting the industry.

He appealed to be media to focus more in promoting tourism regardless of what people think about the insecurity in the country.
He noted there is no country in the world where there was no insecurity, adding in places like Kenya, the US and other countries where tourists visit were not better than Nigeria in the area of security.
According to him, the media should channel its energy positive things not on negativity to change the perception of people.

“Perception is everything, it is because tourism in Nigeria has been perceived wrongly, that is why we are making all this struggle”.

The Travel week Roundtable program is expected to have 4 sessions with 24 panelists who are renown in the industry, these include: Prince Yemisi Shyllon of OYASAF, Desmond Majekodumi of LUFASI Park, Jon Howell of Aviadev Africa, Tana Forsuelo of Wavecrest College of Hospitality, Robin Campbell of Nigeria Field Society and Bernard Bankole of Finchglow Travels.

The climax of Nigeria Travel Week is the Balearica Awards also known as the Nigeria Tourism Awards which honours outstanding tourism stakeholders over the last 12 months.

The Balearica is named and designed after the Crowned Crane. The Black Crowned Crane was proposed to be the national bird of Nigeria around 1985, even though it is not very clear how and why it was changed to the eagle. Countries have national animals and plants as symbols for tourism promotion.

Those expected at the event professionals, travel consultants, tour operators, hoteliers, restaurateurs, curators, travel tech and other tourism stakeholders.

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