Despite the enormous tourism resources in Nigeria, the country is yet to take meaningful steps to harnessing the huge potentials nature has bestowed on her.
The tourism industry in Nigeria is capable generating huge revenues for the country that can sustain its economy if proper attention is given to the sector and adequate awareness created to highlight the tourism sites in the country.
Speaking at the Association of Nigerian Journalists & Writers of Tourism (ANJET) Tourism annual seminar 2019 held at Eko Hotel Lagos, Olota of Ota, HRH, (Prof.) Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege a former Tourism Correspondent said tourism in the country has not been given the proper recognition it deserves.
He said Nigeria is lagging behind in the tourism globally and in Africa in particular, noting that countries like Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, and others are raking huge revenues from the sector.
The Oba stated that Nigeria seldom promotes or advertises its tourism potentials like its counterpart in other Africa countries adding that the sector is a money spinner for any nation.
He said: “Do we really go for Holidays? Do we really promote our culture? When we talk of tourism and job creation, we are lagging behind. Gambia is a good example of a country that is making a lot of money from tourism. We don’t talk much of our tourist’s sites in Nigeria despite the huge resources we have in this sector.”
Oba Obalanlege pointed out that numerous monuments abound in the country that can attract foreigners to the country such as the second storey building in Nigeria and cultural festivals.
He said the Egungun festival in Ogun state can generate a lot of revenue for the country if well packaged sold to tourists.
The Oba urged the government to provide the enabling environment for the industry to thrive and also enjoined the private sector not to wait for the government in developing tourism products.
Speaking also at the event, the chairman, board of trustees, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), Chief Samuel Alabi, said tourism requires deliberate and concerted effort to ensure that the low hanging fruits are being harnessed.
He said the sector requires special funding to give it the special place deserves in the economy adding that the industry is a large market with many branches.