Promote Nigerian festivals, culture, Runsewe tasks travel agents

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Olusegun Runsewe
Runsewe

OLUSEGUN Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, on Wednesday called on travel agents to promote Nigerian festivals and culture locally and internationally.

Runsewe made the call during the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The theme of the programme was: ” Developing Strategic Policies for the Sustainability and Growth of the Travel and Tourism Industry”.

He said that promoting Nigeria’s tourism spots would help boost individual operators’ businesses, create more jobs and improve the nation’s revenue.

He urged tour operators to shun all forms of ethnicity and religious bigotry but focus on achieving common goals for their growth and that of the nation.

” We have refused to package unique tours capable of selling Nigeria to the world as  tourists’ hub, this should be encouraged,” he said.

Runsewe said that tourism and culture were inexhaustible resources which should attract the attention of Nigerians for growth.

He said that Nigeria had over 250 ethnic groups with unique culture peculiar to each which had not been properly marketed to the world.

According to him, the country could generate huge revenue from tourism and culture considering the huge population of the country and its unique natural tourism endowments.

” The promotion and marketing of our festivals, culture, tourism potential is very important to boost nation’s internally generated revenue.

” We are blessed to have been endowed with natural and unique tourist attractions unlike Dubai, the only place in the world where everything they sell for tourists is artificial.

” We have huge tourism potential to sell to the world which can greatly enrich us as a nation; the biggest fish in Africa was found at Argungu Fishing Festival.

” Our royal institution is also another potential to sell to the world but unfortunately we are not doing this enough,” he said.

Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), said that the future of the nation’s tourism industry lies in digital revolution.

He, however, called on travel agents, tour operators’ and Nigerians generally to explore all forms of digital avenues to properly market the nation’s tourism potential for international recognition.

Coker said it was disheartening to know that the infrastructure, human capital and resources to properly groom Nigerian tourism industry were lacking.

He therefore urged Nigerians to speak positively of the nation regardless of the negative situations around.

” We must all embrace the digital technology available to us to market and showcase our tourism products.

” Every Nigerian should paint positive image of the country and leave the negative because a lot of people are out there to duel on our negative stories more than the positive,” he said.

Mr Bankole Bernard, National President, NANTA, said that the association was working closely with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to eliminate counterfeit travel agencies.

He said NANTA was also working meticulously with International Airport Transport Association (IATA) on the introduction of new generation IATA settlement system.

” Nigerian Travel Practitioners Identification Card (NTPIC) introduced a year ago has received great support from embassies, Nigeria Immigration and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Jokotola Pelumi, former speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, urged tourism stakeholders to tap from the immense investment opportunities that abound in the tourism and travel industry.

According to him, the nation’s tourism potential should be properly projected to the world to woo international tourists. “Tourism is supposed to be a huge money spinners for us if well groomed; through tourism, we can change the economy to a multi facet one,” he said. (NAN)

– Mar. 27, 2019 @ 18:57 GMT |

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