By Michael Eboh
An expert in the Nigerian tourism industry,Â Mr. Ayodeji Olonilua, has called on government at all levels to show commitment towards the development of the countryâ€™s economy through the provision of basic infrastructure facilities, that will help encourage investment and reduce the cost of doing business
Speaking in an interactive session in Lagos, Olonilua, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Travels and Tours Limited, disclosed that the countryâ€™s immense tourism potentials are yet to be tapped due to the absence of key infrastructures that support tourism development.
He said, â€œGovernment has not shown adequate commitment to the development of the countryâ€™s tourism sector, it has only been paying lip service to growing the sector. It is a known fact that tourism will fetch in more revenue for the country, more than the present earnings from crude oil. The countryâ€™s tourism sector has enormous potentials, compared to other country that have become attractive tourist destinations and which have made money from it.
â€œFor the sector to develop, there is the need to put the necessary infrastructure in place, this will help boost the tourism sector, as more people will be attracted to visit important tourist sites in various locations of the country.â€
He noted that as parts of its contribution to the development of tourism in the country, it has concluded plans to bring into the country, the President of American Language Learning Institute, Mr. Jean Simon, on a promotional visit, with the aim of meeting with key stakeholders in the countryâ€™s tourism and educational sectors.
He disclosed that the visit will help boost tourism, education and provide the platform for interaction between tourism experts from both Nigeria and the United States of America (USA).
He further stated that it is presently holding discussions with a school in the United Kingdom (UK) for an exchange programme, that will make it possible for students of the school to visit important tourist destinations in the country and also learn more about Africa and Nigeria.
Olonilua noted that its activities is part of its contribution to the development of the countryâ€™s tourism sector and also a contribution to the countryâ€™s re-branding campaign and drive for improved foreign exchange earnings.
He disclosed that it has taken over 2,000 children to excursion outside the shores of the country, since its inception ten years ago, taking advantage of the exclusive rights granted it by Kingswood, as the sole authorised agent in the whole of Africa for its Camp Beaumont in the UK.
â€œWe have discovered that childrenâ€™s education goes beyond classroom learning, hence the need for inculcation of curriculum based activities into their education activities. Annually, we take over 200 students from different schools across the country to tourist and educative destinations outside the country,. The children undergo 65 educational programmes outside their normal educational curricula, but which is designed to further promote their learning.