The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has urged the Nigeria Association of Tour Operator (NATOP), to drive the growth of domestic tourism in the country.
Oba Ogunwusi said Nigerians are in a better position to tell their own story themselves through domestic tourism which according to him is the only way to show the strength its diversity in country.
Speaking at his palace in Ife, Osun State, when the association paid a visit shortly after the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the body held at the Ife Grand Resort, which was hosted by the royal father, he said, Nigeria
The Ooni stated that Nigeria has the richest coastal beaches in the West Africa which has not been explore by local tour operators adding that there is a need to project the positive aspect its rich tourism assets.
He said: “ The only way to show the strength of our diversity in Nigeria is through tourism. There is no country that is perfect but it is the people inside that country that will manage their imperfection and try to curtail that and project the positive side of their country. If you look at South Africa today the only thing going for that country today is tourism not even mining.
“Look at Johannesburg it is one of the highest spot for crime in the world yet you won’t read it anyhow. Lets us project Nigeria very well, let us use our mouth to profess the positivity of our country. Once we do that then we are in real tourism. Let use our initiative of making lemonade out of lemon. In the western world people like you are major decision makers, you influence the government and their policies, because you will tell them and show them statistics that this is what will affect this, country, if you do this it is going to drop the influx of people to our country.
“Let us encourage one another to take Nigeria to another level. It is very important for us to know that what we are looking for in the western world and all over the world we can get something better in Nigeria. Our beaches and so many good places we haven’t utilise them. We have the riches coastal terrain in the world.
“There is no coastal terrain as rich as the country Nigeria. The longest coastal belt in the whole of West Africa is in Ondo State Nigeria. Not even one tourist destination is sighted there. Let us all come together and I am will to partner with your organisation to make sure that the bottom line of each and every one of you is well improved” he said.
by Friday Nwosu