The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation(NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, reiterated the fact that Nigeria is the cheapest holiday available to its citizens, even as he graced the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) AGM held yesterday at the Renaissance Hotel Lagos Ikeja by Marriott on GRA Ikeja Lagos.The new DG stressed on the need for the citizen to explore domestic tourism.
Coker said: “we need to package tourism in a simple manner that the average Nigerian can understand. If we don’t package it, individuals cannot take advantage of it. We understand the product better; we are the most critical audience and will demand better value for our money.At N400 to $1, we are better off spending our naira here as that will make the holiday cheaper and affordable. Accommodation, transport, food and drinks will be cheaper in comparison to spending dollars outside. That aside, we are also boosting our economy and strengthening our currency by reducing the pressure on it.”The NTDC boss implored the tour operators to find a way of packaging the Religious Tourism more, for that is a fast growing tourism destination common to Nigeria. He implored them to create means of keeping tourists in the country longer to enable them spend more.
He spoke on revisiting the issue of branding on a national scale, inclusion of the disabled in packaged tours, also sites and tourism products. Coker solicited for a working partnership between private and public sector in the development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria, stating that public/private partnership will boost the tourism agenda of Nigeria.In a media chat with journalists on his exit from the event, he harped on the immense benefits of domestic tourism to us as a country especially in the wake of the slump in the oil industry.
He also emphasized the need for a robust communication for every participant in the tourism value chain. According to him, “One of such is what happened here today, the synergy between NTDC, NATOP AND NANTA. It is the beginning of better things to come in the industry.
He described the Corporation as a corporate member of NANTA and expressed the readiness of the Corporation to be a worthy partner to NANTA and NATOP in championing the growth of tourism in Nigeria.
by Renn Offor