Ekene Okafor, Abuja
The National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Runsewe advocates the need to create a brand to drive and grow Tourism in Nigeria.
The Director General of the Agency made this known during an interactive session with stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry in Abuja with the theme; “Rebranding Culture and Tourism in Africa: The Nigerian Vision.”
“We need to talk to ourselves in this industry on practical ways to reawaken the consciousness of Nigerians and what this industry can do grow,” he said.
The NCAC boss along with his management team had recently returned from a FAM trip to Dubai where members were exposed to best practices on culture tourism management.
Otunba Rusenwe said Dubai only had handmade tourism destinations unlike Nigeria blessed with rich culture and tourism destinations and potential yet to be tapped.
” We will be rebranding culture and tourism in Nigeria and Africa. I think its time for us to all wake up after the trip to Dubai. We must find the solution,” Otunba Rusenwe concluded
The President of Federation of tourism association of Nigeria Mr. Saleh Rabo says the enabling environment and basic infrastructure needs to be in place to achieve it.
“Nigeria has come a long way. We have all the resources. All we need to do is put these things together so that Nigeria can be a beneficiary of this great industry. Private sectors are the drivers of tourism but the government needs to provide the environment to drive tourism, “he stated.
While commending the DG of NCAC, the President of National association of Nigeria travel Agency Mr Bankole Bernard explained that the government needs to be reminded on the importance of tourism to any country.
“Tourism is not an industry that should be neglected in anyway or any manner. It has been neglected in Nigeria, I think it’s high time we took our rightful position because the tourism economy can eliminate poverty to a very large extent in Nigeria, ” he said.
The high point of the event was the signature signing by the head of stakeholders in the industry which the Director General of NCAC said, would be used as a group to push tourism forward in Nigeria.
The forum featured a variety tourism practitioners including organiser, Ikechi Uko of Akwaaba Africa Travel Market, ANJET President, Andrew Okungbowa, President of NANTA, Bankole Bernard amongst others.