THE Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, has stressed the need for a working partnership between the private and the public sector in the development and promotion of tourism 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) that 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, to enable private investors know which state has potentials to explore and develop.
He noted that there is a need to redefine tourism sector, “a redefinition of the tourism as an industry, as a site and as a channel through which we drive tourism in Nigeria.”
The National President of NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard, earlier in his speech described the appointment of 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 properly in Nigeria 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.
The 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, “that is why South Africa, Kenya and Dubai, among others, have their tourism boards in Nigeria.”