The President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Dr. Gbenga Olowo, has called on government at all levels as well as the private sector operators, to promote tourism and make Nigeria a tourism destination.
Olowo, said once tourism is made attractive to tourists especially foreigners, the contribution of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase and create more jobs for the teeming populace.
Olowo made this known recently in Abuja where he was inducted as a Fellow of Institute for Tourism Professionals (ITP) in Nigeria.
He insisted that Nigeria had a lot of tourism destinations to promote, but regretted that some of these sites remain untapped by various bodies across the country under the wrong perception of insecurity, but stressed that despite the continued war in Israel, tourists still trooped into the country and it is the same with Brazil in spite of recorded crimes and wondered why the reverse was the case in Nigeria.
“We already have tourism on ground, but we need to package, brand and market whatever what we have. Practitioners have to get serious and turn Tourism to good economic investment.
“The travel agencies, tour operators and by extension the Ministry of Information and Culture should do more. Information remains grossly inadequate both at our embassies and all media.
“I landed at night in Kano State recently and surprisingly found everywhere lit. Kano is so beautiful and there are several cities like that in the country today. A tour of Kano, Lagos, PHC by night with Dinner and Show lasting 3hours or there about will be an attractive package any day. As we speak, Uyo is hosting lady golfers in Africa. Tour packages should be part of such tournament.
“We should begin to market our tourist sites. Israel is fighting wars yet tourism, Medicine and agriculture remain their primary economic strength,” Olowo said.
On his induction as a fellow of ITP, Olowo said the honour would challenge him to do more for the industry.
“With over 45 years in travel trade sector, the President and Council of ITP have not misplaced their judgment as Fellowship is the highest level of a practitioner in any professional institute and a honour well deserved.
“For me, tourism is still not where it ought to be, it is far behind simply hinging the wrong perception that Nigeria is not save. I beg to disagree,” he added.