Nigeria has finallyÂ Â Â opened a tourism promotion and marketing office in Europe to sell the vast tourism potential of the country, just as an agreement has been entered into with a renowned university for the training of manpower in the industry.
Opening of the office in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, formed part of the highlights of the one week visit of the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe to the Serbian capital recently.
While taking delivery of the office complex, Otunba Runsewe told newsmen that the office was secured as part of the expansion programme of the Corporation at marketing Nigeria tourism attractions all over the world.
Coming before the opening of the Madrid office in Spain , the Belgrade office is expected to serve countries that formed the former Yugoslavia like Croatia , Servenia Montinegro and Bosnia
According to Otunba Runsewe, the NTDC tourist office would also serve other countries in the region such as Bulgaria , Romania , Hungary and Macedonia among others.
Serbia is strategically located for easy access to these countries, he said adding that the idea is also to tap the market in eastern Europe generally. â€œYou know they are also a force to be reckoned with in the global tourism market.
They travel a lot too and they donâ€™t discriminate. They are adventurousâ€.
The office is strategically located in the new Belgrade estate neighbourhood of about 500,000 people and a little distance from the financial area at the centre of old Belgrade .
Otunba Runsewe said the office would be stockedÂ with the latest promotional hand materials that are being published by NTDC, hoping also to translate the materials destined for Serbia to be translated into the Serbian language.
â€œAlthough some will be in English while some will be in the local Serbian language.
He said that research has shown that the use of English among the youthful Serbian population is high admitting that three out of four of the young population speak English.
Elaborating on the offer of training programme for NTDC staff and tour operators by the Singidunum university in Belgrade . Otunba Runsewe said an MOU had been signed by NTDC and the worldâ€™s renowned universityâ€™s respected tourism and professor, Prof Slobodan Unkovic to start the programme as soon as other formalities are completed
â€œProf Slobadan Unkovic is excited about this offer, he loves to work with us. He said he had heard about Nigeria and would like to be part of its success story in tourismâ€, Otunba Runsewe said.
â€œProf Slobadan Unkovic who studied in the United States is a well respected consultant to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and at various times helped in the development of Ethopian tourismâ€ Otunba Runsewe said.