Government at all levels and the organised private sector, OPS, have been urged to pay serious attention to tourism development and promotion in the country.
The Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism, ANJET, noted that despite the vast potential and comparative advantage that the country has in tourism, the government has continued to pay lip-service to the sector.
ANJET said that the nation is suffering and missing out greatly from the economic and other developmental benefits that it would have reaped from the sector given that it is a money-spinning one and presently a leading sector that serious minded countries have paid attention to following the all-time record of performance over the years.
As well, tourism is a huge revenue and employment generator with $7.6 trillion revenue (about 10 per cent of global GDP) and 277 million jobs; representing one out of every 11 jobs in the world in 2014. Last year, international tourist arrivals reached 1.4 billion mark, amounting to six per cent growth, ahead of 2020 projection.
The body regretted that none of the the presidential, gubernatorial and other political aspirants has said anything about tourism so far.
They said moving forward that the ministry should be manned by a true and tested professional with vast experience in business and understands the metrics of tourism as a business and not a socio-cultural event as it has been the case with the ministry.
The ministry, they said, should be able to effectively and professionally coordinate the activities of the sector by working with the Organised Private Sector, OPS to produce a tourism blueprint and policy for the country as well as among others tinker with the National Tourism Master, which no one knows the content since it was reviewed last year.
To this end, they called on the government to give serious attention to the rejuvenated Presidential Council on Tourism, PCT, which the present minister said has come on board but happenings within the sector proves otherwise.