THE Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, has unveiled a new roadmap with medium and long-term objectives that will fast-track the growth of the industry. The strategic five-point action plan is to galvanise the nation’s tourism, improve service delivery and effectiveness in critical sectors of the industry.
Speaking at the unveiling of the brand logo in Lagos, weekend, NTDC Director-General, Mr. Folorunso Coker, said the brand was aimed at promoting tourism in the country, adding that it would shape the narrative on Nigeria as a major destination for tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment in Africa. He disclosed that activities heralding the event had commenced but the launch would hold on July 29.
He said the Tour Nigeria brand was conceived to drive domestic consumption of tourism assets and products, create new channels of tourism markets, add to the nation’s GDP, create employment and increase spending in the economy. He also said it would showcase the vibrant and friendly energy of Nigerians through different creative expressions, leverage our abundant soft power to ‘celebrate our heritage and promote our natural and cultural tourism assets, destinations and people’.
The acronym for the plan is CHIEF, which represents Corporate Governance and Regulations, Human Capital Development, Infrastructural Development, Events and Marketing, Finance and Investment. He identified travel, accommodation and entertainment/hospitality as key components to tourism that would be explored with airlines, hotels, car hire services, tour operators and others to bring out affordable package tours to encourage Nigerians to tour Nigeria.
“There is need for conscious investment in the promotion of domestic tourism. We appeal to everyone in the tourism value chain at the Federal, state, local governments and the private sector to work together and be ready to drive the market with the Tour Nigeria brand,” he added.
Coker said to create further awareness for the brand, NTDC would embark on a Tour Nigeria Bus Tour from the first week of August. The itinerary, he said, would take the corporation across the six geo-political zones of the country to deepen its reach, create awareness of the huge possibilities of tourism as a major revenue and employment generator, whilst generating goodwill and support for the brand.
“We are deeply confident that the brand will strengthen the ties that bind Nigerians to each other and to the rest of Africa. The brand launch is the first of a series of monthly events to promote the best of Nigeria. Other events are scheduled to take place across the Federation and it will peak with the year ending – Countdown Nigeria celebration. “We have designed and populated our calendar of events with unique festivals and events that cut across the various entertainment channels of food, music, sports, religion, fashion and cultural festivals,” he added.
As part of the plan, the corporation will champion the upgrade of beaches and waterfronts in Cross, Bayelsa and Lagos states to world- class standard, launch the National Tourism Fund as a joint initiative of the private and public sectors, including international donors and agencies, review of the NTDC Act No 81 of 1992 and all tourism laws, licensing rates and fees.