AS Nigeria joins other nations, globally, to mark the 2017 World Tourism Day on Wednesday, the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, said the Corporation will further propel the development of the nation’s tourism industry by branding various tourism sites across the nooks and crannies of the country.
The Director-General, an advocate of domestic tourism, said there is the need to brand Nigeria’s tourism to be on the same page with contemporary tourist sites in developed countries.
“Most of tourist sites around the world are being branded. Brands are very good and they facilitate consumption by human beings,” he said.
Folorunsho, who made the disclosure while playing host to the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer, in his office, on Wednesday, said the Corporation has come up with a Five-Point Agenda under the brand name, ‘Tour Nigeria’.
On the power of branding, he said: ”We come up with what we call TOUR NIGERIA. It is also within that branding context that we try to put up a Five-Point Agenda that we need to sort out some of our own internal problems at NTDC.”
The Five-Point Agenda, he disclosed, will touch areas of corporate governance and regulations, human capital development, infrastructure and finance.
“We look at our corporate governance and the regulations currently governing tourism in Nigeria. These rules and laws were made in 1992, but tourism has changed since 1992. So we’ve been to the Senate to look at what can be done to rebuild the old laws and re-enact new ones that are compatible with best practices in the world.
“We are looking at human capital development because if you don’t train people in the new digital medium that are used to drive the world, how do you propose to drive revenue in the tourism industry?
The NTDC boss said as a nation, “We can market our events, not by mere distribution of flyers, papers or through television, to some extent, but through the modern digital ways of branding.”
Coker stressed that things have to be done in the new model of communication.
He described domestic tourism as a viable platform for international tourism to succeed and fully grow, saying, “We at NTDC are marketing Nigerian tourism to Nigerians. Tourism is a clear business, globally: It has to do with transportation, hospitality and entertainment. They are all businesses and if you treat them like that, you are going to reap the full compliments of investing in it.”
The French envoy, Mr Gauer, commended the Corporation and its leadership for positioning Nigeria’s tourism in the right perspective and for projecting it positively to the outside world.
The Ambassador whose visit was to felicitate with the NTDC and to appreciate the good deeds of the Corporation on the occasion of the World Tourism Day said the French embassy will explore every opportunity of partnering with Nigeria through NTDC and look at possibilities of investing in the nation’s tourism industry.
“Tourism combines many activities such as Security, hotels, good roads, you need to organize your tourism activities You have to create an enabling condition for private companies to invest in tourism because the demand is there and the possibilities are also there. The Consular appreciate this and is trying to organize activities in that respect and is ready to collaborate with the Nigeria government in this respect.”