By Jimoh Babatunde
NEWLY-appointed Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, has said that the marketing of Nigerian tourism is better driven via the platform of new technologies provided by the social media. He said social media has the capacity of reaching millions in one single message, hence his resolve to leverage on it to promote and market the country’s attractions. Folarin-Coker said the development of the domestic industry will be used to drive the international market.
Speaking while receiving members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Travel (ANJET), the new NTDC boss noted that stakeholders have to accept that the dynamics of tourism marketing have changed and then proceed to embrace it. “In the same manner, we also need to identify our key products in comparative terms now. What do we have that others don’t have? That is what we have to identify and market.”
Folarin-Coker also revealed parts of his blueprint for the industry which included prioritizing the growth and development of the domestic industry. “Right now our entertainment and hospitality industry has become our selling point, and with that we identify our niche market and age bracket of that market. Our fashion and film sectors under are already known all over the world.
“We need to key into these markets and indentify the segment of the society shopping in that market. My focus for now will be the development of the domestic industry which I believe is much more sustainable and which if properly done will drive the international market for us. If we are able to get it right then the international segment will naturally take care of itself. We have to start from home,” he said.
The DG who promised to study with his management team the 13 point agenda presented to him by ANJET, described the journalists as ambassadors of Nigeria tourism who have the capacity to make or mar any attempt at repositioning the industry. “For you the journalist, you are the ambassadors of Nigeria tourism, so for that we must reach a pact to safeguard our products and objectively point out the way forward. This is so because in this digital age, your words carry effect and reach to influence opinions and viewpoints around the world.”
Earlier, the writers in the presentation read by the leader of the delegation, Andrew Okungbowa, charged the DG to, among other things, restructure the corporation, create a model for Nigeria tourism, restructure and repackage some of the country’s tourism products, evolve a tourism plan of action, improve on data collection, produce a workable tourism calendar, liaise with relevant stakeholders and governments at all levels to grow the domestic brand, as well as restructure domestic tourism.