The President of the Hotel & Personal Services Employers’ Association of Nigeria (HOPESEA), Mr. Ugbor Vincent, has called for the establishment of Tourism Development Fund.
He said such fund will help enhance the standards of facilities and services obtainable from tourism companies in the country.
Speaking during a visit to the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja recently, Ugbor said there is need for a little direct plough back from tourism and hospitality taxes and fees paid by his members .
“While governments are not obliged to utilize the proceeds from the taxes and fees mainly on the sector, making a reasonable part of them to be of direct benefit to employers and employees in the sector will be a morale boosters to the payers”
“A case is the establishment of Tourism Development Fund which will provide soft loans through Bank of Industry for renovation and refurbishment for members requiring upgrading or to meet short term financial needs. Such loans will help enhance standards of facilities and services obtainable from our tourism companies”, he said.
The HOPESEA President also requested for a quick intervention in the provision and maintenance of Street Lights, Street Cameras and Improvement in road network.
“This will not only reduce crime rate but boost night-life and promote leisure and tourism in the Federal Capital Territory which is your direct domain”, he stated.
Responding , the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, said “We at NTDC are ever ready, not only to market and promote tourists’ sites but also to restructure and reposition our tourism industry.”
He added that there is need to create all-inclusive holidays, business or religious trip that will be easily accessible for tourists in the country to develop domestic tourism.
The NTDC boss sought for a strategic working partnership between the HOPESEA and NTDC as the Corporation is set to grade hotels according to international standards as is in other parts of the world.