Alhaji Rabo Saleh, National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on the Federal Government to come up with a national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ to boost the sector.
Saleh said this on Tuesday at the 5th Edition of Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition (NTIFE) in Abuja, with the theme: “An Insight into the Legal Framework of Tourism in Nigeria”.
Saleh said that domestic and international tourism experts have concluded that cultural tourism was Nigeria’s most competitive tourist product, if properly harnessed.
“Nigeria is a promising African tourism destination, therefore, there should be no dichotomy between ‘culture’ and ‘tourism’.
“Culture and Tourism departments in government ministries should work as a team to sell Nigeria to inbound tourists.
“Other countries, like Turkey and China have recently been investing in cultural tourist products with enviable success,” he said.
The FTAN president urged Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities to put Nigeria on the global tourism map.
He added that this could be achieved by the diversification of the economy through cultural tourism products that would attract inbound forex spending tourists, also by promotion of domestic tourism to create business.
“State governments are the natural custodians of most tourist sites because the sites are all local.
“Mapping out tourism development zone at the Local Government level, provision of tourist facilities such as access roads, facilitating land acquisition for tourism investors should be put into consideration,” he said.
He called on the government, both federal and state to analytically look at the Nigeria’s tourism map and build up a motor-able road that would lead to and fro tourist destinations in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mr Samuel Alabi, Chairman, FTAN Board of Trustees, appealed to the FG to allocate land to FTAN for tourism to flourish.
Alabi, also a former president of FTAN, added that allocating land to the association would help tourism development in Nigeria.
The event attracted personalities from the Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Orientation Agency as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector, among others.
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole
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