For the Nigerian local tourism scene, it has been said over again that Covid 19 is a huge blessing.
Some Nigerian destinations suddenly gain tractions, and became a fad. We had a jamboree, and it was a great time for local tourism. Our eyes suddenly became opened to unbelievable places within, and we all wowed, and accepted that our tourism is not as bad as we think. Not many of them are world class standard, but we agreed we can derive great experience, and certainly can do some destinations as they are.
It was a mixed emotion to see the Nigerian travelling population trapped within, the urge for travel or escapism was palpitating, and they are left with no choice but to go local. Long and short, our ‘abroad people’ enjoyed local tourism and even gave some praises. Indeed, everyone after the lock down needed a tourism therapy, and there was a rush. For the first time our resorts were fully booked in December, and I needed to pull strings to get my clients in.
For a country who seriously wants to develop her tourism, we did not fully tap into the learning provided by this period and we are fast loosing the blessings of covid and in reclusion to the lip service syndrome. As Covid 19 guide lines eases up, the proverbial market has closed and everyone is returning home. All the excitements are winding down, and we are back to the few individuals and groups who genuinely promote Nigerian tourism.
Nigerians do not know tourism destinations in their country the same way an American knows Miami and Las Vegas, so they cannot consume. And without mincing words, marketing by the Federal Government body saddled with our tourism is nebulous. The local tourism consumption is not about patriotism, it has to be sold to people, it is their hard earned money. It is beyond an NTA or Radio Nigeria programming charade. It will be policy driven and results monitored. It has to be on our faces every day like noodles: as clicks on your computer or phone, Bill boars on your drive from home to work, visible at local airports, on television and radio etc. Our celebrities and influencers have to be used to drive home the Nigerian tourism story. It must become a culture. We must become hungry for it.
For a country with a large population of poor and hungry people who have been swapped around a lot like flies and degraded by corrupt leadership not to think of survival first before tourism, a lot has to give. Our population is supposed to be an advantage for our tourism; we are big enough to buy and sell our now endangered tourism. There is no iota of doubt that we must protect our own version of the world highest employer of labour, the best public relation machine, and the world best earner with new policies that will help reposition it. We need to pump more than a hundred billion yearly directly into the veins of our local tourism economy, a transfusion of funds that will create better pulse and make it stand up in good health and walk. I am not talking about budget for tourism that never flows down.
I am hopeful my preposition can be explored, and the Government certainly will not spend a kobo, and NTDC can earn some funding too, to seriously and aggressively promote our tourism in two years. What I am about to describe will go directly into tourism business related ventures, wake more small businesses, and at the end create a semblance of a fully operational local tourism industry. We do not have to go on another instinctive borrowing and allow funds go into private kleptomaniac pockets. Over 85 per cent will go directly to our tour operators, hotels, restaurants, transport, souvenirs shops and destinations belonging to government and private companies. We must all accept that we urgently need to save our tourism and we must start with the Government people.
The essence of leave allowance is for payment of vacation related expenses either to a resort or to your village. It is for the individual staff to have change of environment during the leave period and return a better person after great rest, so they can do better jobs on return.
The Nigerian Federal civil service has over hundred thousand staff strength and the state and local government all put together in all our thirty six states have close to one million, five hundred thousand staff in total. A policy making sure each person spends a minimum or average of (N40,000) of their leave allowance on local tourism package will suddenly push about (N62 billion) annually into our tourism blood stream. I do not need to emphasize how the constituents of the tourism eco system will benefit from this, and banks may begin to see the viability of supporting tourism.
Another twenty billion or more can be generated by encouraging private companies, especially government contractors to make sure their staffs use the funds for the leave allowance for the purpose. Additional twenty billion can be spread when we encourage private sectors to adopt tourism sites and make it world class by allowing some level of branding, and they will be happy with this. This will save the Governments several billions in spending, and keeps pilfering to minimum.
You may have a problem with using civil servants and politicians as the ‘guinea pig’ for the revival of our tourism- They are government, they will lead us, and in fact if truth be told, they are not loosing anything, it is money being used for what it is meant for,
On daily basis our destinations have people walking in, tour operatos having orders every day, the tour guide is busy, taxi man is hauling, restaurants having increased patronage, and our farmers doing more to provide more food. We will record less depression, better health and more circulation of funds within the tourism industry. In five years we will see defining changes, more jobs would have been created and through tourism tax of less than one percent, the NTDC can have funds to execute great marketing plan. And foreigners will see us, belief us, and come to see our country. Charity starts from home.
This is my opinion. Will our tourism take this urgent route? Time will tell.
By Hafees Keshinro
Is the Founder of Butterfly Tourism Nigeria
Country Guest House Opens In Lagos, Sues For Continuity In Hospitality Sector
A Guest House with a spacious open-bar activities, Country Guest House has been launched in Lagos on Sunday,
Our Correspondent gathered that the Guest House is located on 49, Joel Ogunnaike street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos.
The Hotel features 19 rooms that include standard and deluxe rooms, as well as spacious VIP suites with some special preference for the VIPs in terms of an exclusive sit-out spot and free conference room.
The hotels has a restaurant called Red Peppered, serving others locally inspired cuisine, and foreign foods particularly Chinese foods.
The international airport, which accounts for 50% of all air traffic in Nigeria is located less than 1km from the hotel.
Speaking at the launching, The Managing Director, Hammed Ishola urged that there is need for continuity in the hospitality sector, describing the hotels as premium with state-of-the-art designs in all ramifications.
Hammed noted that the affordability of the hotels is comparable to none even as it is highly accessible both online and physically.
He assured prospective customers that they would not be disappointed at any given trial even as he looks forward to welcome both domestic and international guests.
Politics3 years ago
2019: Tinubu Plots Alliance With Atiku, As Plan To Dump Buhari Thickens *The Restructuring Factor
News1 year ago
Sacked Kano Emir, Sanusi Kicks Off 2023 Presidential Project.
News1 year ago
Gunmen Attack Lanre Teriba, Condition Unstable In Lagos Hospital
News1 year ago
Hakeem O. Odumosu, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State on Successes Recorded by the Command in the last 119 days
News7 months ago
JUST IN: Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Hospitalized
Business3 years ago
Lagos Guber: New Name Emmerges As Tinubu, Aregbeshola Move To Stop Ambode’s Second Term Bid
Crime2 years ago
Five Female Secondary Students Rape Teacher To Coma In Ogun State
Politics3 years ago
Iyaloja General Tinubu Ojo, Market Leaders Endorse Sanwo-Olu Ahead Sunday Election