The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has declared its partnership with Google, focused on enabling the recovery and growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the Corporation, Mr Folorunsho Coker, disclosed this in a release he personally signed and made available to Reporters At Large on Thursday.
Coker noted that Google has a sustained reputation as a long-term partner and supporter of people and businesses in Nigeria.
He disclosed that “the holistic program will include training and ongoing support for small businesses, skilling initiatives for individuals and others: and will also include the launch of a new Google Arts & Culture initiative called ‘Explore Nigeria’, These are the first steps in what will be a long term partnership between the NTDC and Google.”
The release reads:
Today marks the 60th independence anniversary of Nigeria and the annual celebration shines a light on what we are known for: our rich heritage, spectacular nature, bustling cities and our welcoming spirit. Often referred to as the heartbeat of Africa, our population of more than 200 million people is putting the country on the world map through our music, art, literature and a vibrant technology scene.
The intentional promotion of domestic tourism is crucial to re-energising the economy and rural development in Nigeria. Tourism advances the promotion of diverse indigenous cultural heritages and traditions in the most unique ways while occurring as a vehicle for the integration of different ethnic groups, the fostering of peace and development, in tandem with the creation of jobs and economic value that gives young people the lifelines that would halt rural to urban migrations.
The enabling of domestic tourism through the ‘Explore Nigeria’ model will stimulate the tourism value chain that is primed to boost rural and urban economies and development. This is due to its affordability and the lack of bureaucratic impediments around its implementation. More so, it provides education and information to people on the diversity of experiential benefits that exist across the country, whilst enhancing the creative sector, revitalising local craft industries and ultimately motivating infrastructural upgrade.
As 2020 has posed several challenges for locals and global travellers alike, we have partnered with Google Arts Culture on an online experience of exploring Nigeria virtualy. It is the first phase of a long-term partnership which aims to digitize, preserve and share Nigeria’s rich culture with Nigerians and the world. Whether it’s your first encounter with Nigeria or you are rediscovering our heritage, we encourage you to virtually tour the country by exploring over 400 photographs, 12 online stories, 10 Street Views of iconic sites and get travel recommendations from seven influencers. It is our goal to collaborate with Google Arts & Culture on using their technologies to document Nigeria’s past, present and future for generations to come.
I hope the virtual experience will awaken adventurers, taking them on a journey into an authentic Nigerian experience that showcases the true spirit and essence of Nigeria encompassing our historic, cultural and heritage sites to sun-kissed coastlines, beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, natural springs, the grandeur of festivals, to our wildlife and magnificent plateaus.
Frorn the comfort of your couch. I invite you to join me in getting the virtual celebrations started with these five experiences on Google Arts Culture:
1. Explore Nigeria with 7 local guides
To help plan your next Nigerian adventure. we have invited seven influencers to share how they would recommend exploring the best of the country. Meet your local guides: Yemisi Odusanya (Sisi Yemmie), Funmi Oyatogun, Pamilerin Adegoke (Uncle Pamilerin), Ibrahim Salawu (Unilag Olodo), Bukola Wahab (Shawttynat), Ibe Kenneth (Mazi Ibe), and Oluwatosin Ajibade (Olorisupergirl). Be inspired by their tnost memorable holiday, and let them guide you through what to see, taste. the smell, feel and listen to.
2. Climb Mount Patti and learn how Nigeria got its name – With the help of Street View, you can now explore the lush green Mount Patti which looks over the confluence of the Rivers Niger and Benue. Start by making your way to the famous baobab tree which is known to possess mythical values. Continue to The Lugard Rest House which today is a mini-museum of Nigeria’s colonial past. It was here British journalist Flora Lugard saw the spectacular view of the River and wrote to the British Parliament suggesting the name ‘Nigeria’. Finish off your tour at the iconic view point and take in its magnificence.
3. Put your knowledge to the test – Did you know that Nigeria is the world’s most populous black nation, has the third biggest film industry in the world, has Africa’s oldest dye pit ard is home to Afrobeat music? Step back in time to learn about Nigeria’s ancient kingdoms and colonial past by visiting ten sites with Street View including Lagos National Museum and Tinubu Square. Fast forward by exploring 15 facts you need to know about Nigeria and put your knowledge to the test.
4. Experience the most colourful festivals – Experience the true spirit of Nigeria’s people by virtually taking part in one of the rnany festivals celebrated throughout the year. Each of the more than 250 ethnic communities celebrates their culture through dancing, masquerades, competitions and traditions. We invite you to join thousands of fishermen competing to catch the largest fish at the Argungu festival, watch the spectacuar Durbar parade in Kano and learn about Nigeria’s naval history at the 200-year old Yauri Rigata festival.
5. Spot a butterfly and visit the natural wonders – From the north, south, east to the west, Nigeria has exceptional biodiversity and boasts of an abundance of fauna and flora. Having one of the worlds largest diversity of butterflies, photographer Adedotun Ajlbade invites you to join him in exploring the mostcolourfull ones through this online exhibit. Ever wanted to visit the Awhum Caves of Enugu, the Farin Ruwa falls of Nasarawa, the Osun Osogbo sacred grove of Osun State, and the Wikki Warm spring of Bauchi State? Discover 14 spectacular wonders and be inspired to plan your next adventure. See you out there!