The Argungu International Fishing Festival is now assuming the status of one of the global preferred tourist destinations with nationals of 21 countries witnessing the 2009 edition of the four_day event. According to the figures released by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, a total of 262,386 visitors witnessed the famed fishing festival in 2009 out of which about 400 are from abroad.
The figures indicate that visitors from Niger, Mali, Chad, USA, Germany and Britain top the list of foreign tourists at the event which was held in Argungu, Kebbi State, North West of Nigeria from March 11th to 15th, 2009.
True to their reputation as the most traveled tourists in the world, a total of 40 Germans attended the show followed by the Americans and the British.
The total expenditure at the festival according to NTDC was N1.3 billion out of which food and drinks alone accounted for half a billion naira, transportation fetched N78 million while accommodation at Argungu, Sokoto and Birnin Kebbi brought N146 million.
The report also indicates that at least about N206 million exchanged hands for shopping particularly for souvenirs, mementoes, decorations, textile materials and crafts; while N50 million was realized from package tours both by air and land.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on the report, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe commended the Kebbi State government for utilizing to the fullest, the public/private partnership for the success of the festival.
He urged other states to bring up products that can be promoted and marketed by the NTDC as part of the holistic approach at developing Nigeria tourism.