By Jimoh Babatunde
The Naija Fan Village in Durban, South Africa has been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its rich tourism potentials to the entire world at the biggest stage, as it presents a window for the more than one million fans that will be visiting South Africa to see the best of Nigeria.
This was the view of the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Olusegun Runsewe during a public presentation for Naija Fan Village held at Leadway Protea Hotel, Maryland, Ikeja recently.
According to him, the corporation will use the opportunities offered by the fan centre which is located 15 minutes away from the cityâ€™s airport and stadium to show to the world that Nigeria is not only blessed with football talents, but also endowed with rich tourism potentials, culture, food and music.
Runsewe who was represented at the event by the Lagos State Director of National Orientation Agency, Alhaji Nasir Kaka said the NTDC hopes to use the fan village to make a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of football fans who will be visiting the centre during the duration of the tournament.
This he said will be done by presenting the country as a destination of choice for both leisure and business. To achieve its aims, he disclosed, thatÂ NTDC is partnering with Premium Sports Management Services (PSMS), sole managers of the Naija Fan Village, and has gone ahead to obtain a stand for its purposes.
Speaking in the same vein, the Managing Director/CEO of PSMS, Ms Nkechi Obi said disclosed that there were only 50 pavilions available at the Naija Fan Village, with prospective participants treated on first come, first served basis.
She also pointed out that participation in the Naija Fan Village was open to corporate organisations, state governments and government agencies byÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â way of exhibition stands and pavilions in the village.
â€œThe exhibition stands and pavilions are in various sizes and participants are invited to choose whatever size appeals to them. In addition to exhibition stands and pavilions, participants who take pavilions can also negotiate to sponsor the daily entertainment on a first come, first serve basis,â€ she explained.
She further disclosed that participants would also enjoy additional benefits commensurate with the type of facility selected.
She then called on the organized private sector, government agencies involved in projecting BRAND NIGERIA, state governments with tourism as their arrowhead and the business community to use the Naija Fan Village platform to promote their value_base proposition through sponsorship of diverse expose of Nigerian foods, arts, culture and music to the international audience.
The fan village is expected to cater for an estimated daily audience of 5,000 persons, a total of between 160,000 and 200,000 persons over the 32 days of the event. Visitors expected at the village include Nigerian fans, as well as fans from such countries like South Korea, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Australia whose teams will also play in Durban.