Introduction : Tourism is presently the world's largest and fastest growth industry accounting for about 7% of global capital investment, with receipts predicted to reach $1.550 billion by year 2010. Africa 's share in the growing international trade is marginal, in terms of both arrivals and receipts. In recent years, in view of the global trend, most African nations have taken positive steps to develop their tourism assets for the invaluable benefits. In Ghana , Tourism is one of the key sectors in the economic recovery programme and is currently the third foreign exchange earner, after minerals and cocoa. In Tanzania , Tourism accounts for about 50% of foreign exchange earnings. The trend in Nigeria , which will be used as the case study for this paper, has also shown a promising future for the industry.
2. DEFINITIONS :
i. Tourism: is the free movement of people to destinations outside their usual places of residence and work, on a temporary basis, as well as the service industries created to satisfy the needs arising from the movements, within national or across international boundaries, for leisure, adventure, health, business, religion, sports, etc.
Tourism thus involves:-
Short term travel, at least for one day and not more than one year.
Covers expenditure on transport, accommodation, purchases and services, from when the visitor leaves home, until he/she returns.
Includes the impact of such visits and activities on the socio-economic, political and physical environment of the host communities and visitors themselves.
ii. Hospitality Industry : The word hospitality simply means receiving guests with kind gesture, especially with regards to the cordial and generous reception and treatment given to or received by them – service with a welcoming hearty smile. Hospitality industries therefore includes traditional accommodation outfits like hotels, motels, guest houses, food services restaurants, theatres, recreational parks and other entertainment establishments.
iii. Jump-Start : According to Oxford Dictionary , to jump-start means starting by pushing or rolling; setting in motion a stalled or sluggish system; to put more energy into starting a process or an activity and make it start quickly. Emphasis is on factors to hasten or stimulate the tourism industry to ensure accelerated take-off.
3.(a). Tourism Potentials and Rationale for Development:
Tourism has become one of the most striking growth phenomena of our time, as it is today, the greatest generator of economic wealth . Nigeria , the land of pleasures and discoveries is the Tourism treasure of Africa . With a vast landmass of about 924,000 sq. kms. in the tropics, a population of over 120 million, and over 250 ethnic groups, the country has the potentials to please any class of tourists. The Nigerian Tourism “ goldmine” consists of: -
Eco-Tourism Assets: Nature-based tourism including National parks, Game Reserves, Sanctuaries and Wetlands, etc.
Heritage/Cultural-Tourism: The Cultural assets, especially the festivals are amongst the most fascinating the world over. The land of a million dances, with museums of finest collections of arts and crafts, palaces, heritage sites, and monuments etc.
Sport Tourism: Nigerians are sport lovers and many have excelled in various sporting activities like soccer, athletics, golf, professional and traditional wrestling, etc.
Conference/Business Tourism: Nigeria has emerged as one of Africa's centers for business and conferences in cities like Abuja , Lagos and Port-Harcourt.
Beach Tourism: Nigeria has over 700km of coastline covered with unpolluted sandy beaches ready for investment. Prominent areas and sites are Lagos , Escravos, Port Harcourt , Bonny and Ibeno beaches, among others.
Holiday Resorts: There are other leisure and holiday resorts developed around natural physical attractions, like the Obudu Ranch Resort, the Farin Ruwa Water Falls , the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Whispering Palm, Badagry, Port-Harcourt Tourist Beach .
Adventure Safari: Mountain/plateau experiences, rock climbing, trekking etc.
Rural Tourism: Village life styles, farm houses, ranches and plantations, hunting, historic districts and gardens.
3.(b). Benefits of Tourism Development :
Diversify the nation's economic base and source of foreign exchange through the promotion of international tourism.
Creation of more employment opportunities to absorb an ever increasing labour force.
Improvement in the quality of life of both urban and rural dwellers, through provision of leisure facilities and amenities, in addition to fostering respect for cultural diversity.
Promote and encourages active private sector participation.
Promotes greater mutual understanding, unity and peaceful co-existence within and outside the federation.
Creates better international image and increased foreign investments.
Preservation of cultural/historical heritage.
Preservation and conservation of nature reserves.
Revival of arts and crafts.
Promotes rural-urban integration and redistribution of national wealth.
3. (c). Investment Opportunities :
The question often asked by many entrepreneurs is why invest in tourism? The answer is not far-fetched.
Nigeria has unique untapped tourism goldmine which is a new-found land, virgin arena for investors.
The cultural festivals are second to none the world over and present an area of best comparative advantage.
Investment opportunities exist in tour operation, water sports, accommodation, conferences, textiles, crafts, resort development, beaches, sports and recreation, travel and food services, etc.
4. Factors/Strategies for Speedy Take-Off
Positive Government Support :
From empirical evidences world wide, for a successful tourism development, government leads, while the private sector follows. The Tourism Sector has witnessed the dawn of a new era, since the inception of the new democratic government in 1999. The Federal government has accorded a preferred sector status to Tourism, which is presently one of the six priority sectors of the present Administration. Some of the tourism friendly policies are:
* The creation of the Federal Ministries of Culture and Tourism and Environment.
* The Tourism Master Plan Committee to produce the tourism blueprint.
* Restructuring of the Aviation Sector and
*The constitution of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) which is an unprecedented and revolutionary move. The PCT with Mr. President as Chairman, was set up in recognition of the need to bring together all relevant Ministers and tourism friendly Governors under a platform dedicated to articulating policies and supporting the drive for accelerated tourism development in Nigeria . As the highly elevated status of Tourism is being celebrated, all Tourism stakeholders are enjoined to make hay while the sun shines and ride on the cushion provided by the deep commitment and proactive initiative of the Federal government.
Functional Tourism Administration :
For effective policy implementation, the institutional framework for tourism administration must be in place and made functional. The Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism takes responsibility for formulation and monitoring of policies, while the State Ministries and Tourism Boards implement the policies, control land allocation and coordinate the development of tourism projects. The Local Government Tourism Committees are to identify tourist sites, preserve and maintain heritage sites and monuments in their locations. NTDC will serve as the apex federal government parastatal responsible for the promotion, marketing and regulating of the tourism industry in the country. To achieve high degree of policy discipline and implementation, the need for delineation and coordination of responsibilities of the three tiers of government with other related policies, becomes inevitable. A number of organisations in the public sector fail to maximally achieve set goals due largely to uncoordinated policies, overlapping responsibilities and duplication of functions. There is an urgent need for harmonization of policies of related agencies for maximum productivity. Areas of relevance to Tourism include, policies on Investment, Environment, National Parks, poverty alleviation, etc. To give credence to investors, the Tourism policy must be integrated into the National Economic Development Plan and reflected in the annual fiscal, monetary and budgetary policies.
(iii) Tourism Public-Private Partnership :
We live in a global village and a world of interdependence. Public-private sector partnership is a valuable and indispensable component of sustainable development. The concept of participatory approach is increasingly recognized as a powerful tool in achieving good governance and positive results. It offers all stakeholders the required opportunity to be part of the decision-making process, i.e. the 3 tiers of government, individuals and organized private sector, community based organizations and NGOs should all be actively involved in the development programmes. Team work divides efforts but multiplies effects. So a strong public-private partnership is a must for tourism development. The roles of all tourism stakeholders should be well defined, with each taking their responsibilities seriously, as they are all mutually interdependent.
(a) ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Provision of Basic Infra-Structural Facilities : Tourism cannot thrive without basic infra-structural facilities, such as good roads, clean water, constant electricity supply, and communication, safety and security systems. The provision of the essential social facilities is the sole responsibility of government and a sine-qua-non to private sector investment in the industry. Though the status has changed over the years, there is still large room for greater improvements. A situation where hotel operators construct their own roads, dig boreholes and generate power, leave much to be desired, as it is a big distraction from traditional duty of provision of quality services to customers. NEPA's inability to provide constant power supply in Nigeria has negatively affected hotel business and others in the industry, as the proprietors rely on two or more power generators with high cost of maintenance. Government should expedite action on the privatization programme to usher in an era of reliable power supply which will have multiplier effects on operating costs of businesses in Nigeria . The infra-structural facilities are fundamental requirements for developmental efforts and their availability and adequacy improve the standard of life of benefiting communities and provide comfort and satisfying experience for the tourists. Government should therefore ensure the provision of the basic facilities, especially at tourist sites in rural areas.
Conducive Investment Climate/Incentives:
The federal government has resolved to reduce the prohibitive cost of operating business in Nigeria through rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and privatization exercise. We should move from plans to realities, from ear-marking to “eye seeing”. The Nigerian conditions must be internationally competitive to attract both local and foreign investments in tourism. The manifesto for growth should outline essential operational measures to remove obstacles to growth and improve competitiveness.
Many foreigners have expressed belief in Nigeria as investment destination but Nigerians within and in Diaspora must show interest and confidence in Nigeria , by investing in the country to attract sustained interest by foreigners.
Financial incentives aimed at reducing operating costs and providing investment security should be granted e.g. Direct and Indirect Tax exceptions, easy access to tourism land, repatriation of invested capital and equity participation opportunities.
Taxation: The strangulating taxes in multiplied forms, from the three-tiers of government should be reduced and harmonized. Government should review taxation regime to raise level of income of civil servants, as the present take home pay can hardly take them home. Personal income tax should be restructured in a way that more money is available to the wage earners, so income level will be increased in real terms. Purchasing power of people will be improved and it would have positive effects in general economy.
(b) Role Of Private Tourism Practitioners :
In appreciation of the positive efforts of government, the private tourism stakeholders should heed the clarion call in this golden era for tourism in Nigeria, and play the expected role as the driver of the engine of growth , in the provision of the following facilities and services:-
Provision of clean, safe and comfortable Accommodation and catering outfits of various standards.
Transportation of various types and modes.
Development and management of entertainment and recreational facilities/services.
Production and sale of souvenir items.
Operation of duty free shops and retail travel services, including packaged tours.
Operate travel publicity/advertising outfits.
Operate bureau de change etc.
Industry practitioners are expected to:
Ensure efficient and high standard of services of competitive prices
Ensure honesty, commitment and fairness in dealing with clients while avoiding all forms of trade malpractices.
Ensure that staff are well trained and motivated to guarantee delivery of courteous, friendly, efficient services to customers.
Ensure adherence to appropriate regulations guiding conduct in industry.
Promote culture of the environment through effective use of local materials.
(c) Joint Programmes/Projects:
As partners in progress, the public-private sectors should jointly:
Formulate or review National Tourism policies including the National Tourism Master Plan with strategies for implementation.
Establishment of standards for operation as well as implementation of global standards e.g. Global Code of ethics for Tourism.
Execution of tourism projects/programmes and promotion of Nigeria as a tourist destination.
Cooperation on tourism matters with other countries and international agencies.
Joint promotion and research, with organization of seminars, workshops, conferences, manpower development programmes and implementation of the Tourism Satellite Account.
Sourcing of funds for tourism development and promotion.
(iv) Establishment of Tourism Development Fund (TDF) :
Finance is the engine, the main propeller of every business enterprise. The development of the Tourism sector is highly capital intensive. Finance has been and still is one of the major inhibiting factors in tourism development in Nigeria . Tourism projects are often scored low on criteria for evaluating bankable projects i.e. ability to pay back, pay back period, equity structure, collateral, etc. Investors who are generally risk averters prefer investment in other sectors. Commercial and development banks rarely grant loans for tourism investments, due to the long/gestation period. With the lack of investible funds and very low levels of disposable income, laudable tourism projects cannot be executed. The development of the tourism industry has been very slow especially as the available funds through Federal and State government budgetary allocations have been grossly inadequate. There is therefore a dire need for a steady source of accessing funds for investments in the Tourism sector. In many countries with tourism success stories, like Israel and South Africa , the governments bridge the gap by providing funds for the development of tourism projects. The tourism industry operators benefit from credit facilities. In view of the critical role of finance in the achievement of the nation's tourism dream, that would serve a catalyst to poverty alleviation and lay solid foundation for industrial revolution, the need for government intervention cannot be over-emphasised.
The TDF is one of the institutions proposed to address the vital issue of stimulating and securing investment in the tourism sector. The fund will be a specialized investment scheme for the Nigerian Tourism Sector with low interest loans. It is to act as a catalyst for the rapid and sustainable growth of the industry, with active participation of the private sector.
The TDF, when established shall perform the following functions:
Management of the portfolio of investment in the tourism industry.
Invest in commercial ventures in the tourism sector either solely or as a joint venture partner.
Maintain ownership and development of land, including the development of infrastructural services within designated tourism development zones.
The fund will have right to borrow money for tourism development, both within and internationally.
It will lend money for tourism related projects with low interest rates and moratorium.
Administer tourism incentives and fund legislation.
Provide technical and management support for tourist facilities.
Provide tourism investment and management advisory services and produce feasibility reports on tourism related industries.
Facilitate manpower development and training.
Creation of tourism business forum.
Canvas for contributions towards specific project development.
Technical Assistance/Cooperation with relevant international bodies like EEC, WTO, ILO, UNDP, ADP etc.
Easy access to low interest funds is a must for tourism development.
(v) Tourism Marketing and Promotion Strategy :
In spite of Nigeria 's abundant tourism products, her size and importance in the African continent, the country is yet to take an enviable position in the global tourism map. The low level of travel flow is attributable to a combination of the under listed factors:-
Inadequate marketing initiative and lack of strong product identity.
Lack of basic infrastructure.
Lack of tourism awareness and poor holiday culture of Nigerians.
Insecurity and negative/international image/publicity.
Insufficient marketing budgets – as biggest spenders are leaders in tourist arrivals and receipts.
To enable Nigeria benefit from the increased tourism receipts, an aggressive marketing and promotion strategy should be evolved to present positive destination images and messages to prospective visitors. Public and private stakeholders should determine the market share desired, identify origin of tourists and their tastes, define market segment and make improvements in the competitiveness of chosen products. There should be an underlying policy and focus. Some marketing and promotion strategies include:
Production of information materials e.g. brochures, flyers, posters, post cards, guide maps etc.
Publicity through print and electronic media including website, bill boards etc.
Organization and participation in domestic and international fairs/exhibitions and cultural events.
Establishment of tourist information offices (local and foreign).
Regional tourism promotion of ECOWAS Trade and Tourism fairs, WATTS , PANAFEST and ABUJA CARNIVAL.
Encourage small-scale rural entrepreneurship in the production of artifacts and crafts (souvenirs for tourists), as avenue for wealth creation amongst the rural poor.
Liaison with the Federal Ministry of Information and Orientation in the implementation of the “ Nigeria : Heart of Africa” programme designed to project the image of Nigeria .
Foreign and domestic airlines should be encouraged to promote both domestic and international tourism.
Directional signs should be mounted at strategic points in the airports and roads to guide travelers.
There should be regular and organized familiarization tours for travel journalists, tour operators from within and outside Nigeria to tourism destinations.
National Tourism Facilitation Committee charged with responsibility for providing harmonious sectoral linkages between diverse tourism related agencies, to eliminate roadblocks and logistics problems and ease movements, should be in place.
The Nigerian Tourism Press in particular, must play greater role and follow path of objective reporting, as they employ the vital tool of public enlightenment and education to break cultural barriers and re-orientate Nigerians to stimulate national consciousness and patriotism, to love Nigeria and go round her, while preaching the gospel of peaceful co-existence.
(v)(a) Operation Know Nigeria Campaign:
The programme is conceived to create tourism awareness, especially among Nigerians and stimulate interest in the “White-Gold” that God dispersed all over the huge land mass of Nigeria, with a long term goal of increasing domestic tourist traffic, while improving the revenue-yielding capacity. Aggressive publicity and awareness campaigns will be undertaken through publications and organization of seminars, workshops and tour packages to boost domestic tourism. With the rehabilitation programme of our tourist sites, focus will be placed on making Nigerians to know and love Nigeria , and go around her. Apart from discouraging “Naira/Dollar Flights” to Europe, America and Dubai , it will help to conserve our foreign reserves, and boost domestic tourism, which is the bedrock for International Tourism, with resultant boost in foreign investments. Development of Domestic Tourism as a factor for social integration and unity amongst the various ethnic groups should be encouraged. Tourism contents of National Programmes like NYSC, NUGA, Football Leagues, NAFEST, National Festival of Youth and Sports, NDE, NEEDS, NEPAD etc. to be emphasized and developed.
Product Development Strategy:
* Given the abundance and diversity of our tourism assets, an integrated development approach is required to ensure optimal resource utilization.
* Establishment of Tourism zones/circuits and specialization in line with areas of best comparative advantage at regional and global levels.
* States will be encouraged to focus development on areas of strength and competitive advantage. The bold initiative of Cross River State TINAPA and Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort projects should be emulated by other states.
* In the domestic scene, emphasis should be placed or creating a tourism friendly atmosphere by public enlightenment and reorientation of the host communities. The viable pathway to sustainable tourism development is to have active community involvement in the development and management of tourist resorts. The Local Government Tourism Committees to spearhead the project in their areas.
* Youth Tourism promotion through “Operation-Catch-Them-Young” in schools, NYSC camps, Youth Centres and Clubs.
* Promoting travel experiences such as cultural discoveries, countryside experience, events shows, mountain escapes, wildlife/nature watch, city breaks and coastal gateways.
* Promote made in Nigeria goods/services, especially wearing of traditional dresses as championed by Mr. President.
* Promote travel within Nigeria by members of the Diplomatic Corps, Top Civil Servants and Senior Citizens.
* Popularize and promote the Tourism Leads Nigeria initiative with the One Village , One Product slogan.
(vi) Establishment of a Tourism Data Bank/Implementation of TSA:
As we focus on enhancing stakeholders wealth and producing satisfactory returns on investment, the need for quality service, competitive pricing structure and convenience, has become increasingly important. In an information age, with a competitive landscape that is greatly altered by new technologies, business practices and consumer demands, research on customer wants and satisfaction is a must for existence in the market place. The 21 st century is an era of fully automated customer services. The guests want information and want it fast. If Nigerians don't deliver, someone else will. With the internet revolution, service makes the difference. The need for the utilization of statistical information as a useful tool for policy formulation, forecasting, planning and development of tourism in Nigeria can therefore not be over-emphasised. The past efforts towards tourism data production and storage did not receive sufficient and considerable attention. There is an urgent need to improve on tourism data production and storage system, as no meaningful planning nor development can be achieved without adequate and reliable data-base. As a matter of priority, all relevant government/private agencies should be organized to provide, on a continuous basis, accurate and timely data on tourist traffic, hotel occupancy rate/tariffs, dates of cultural events, etc. for the establishment of a Tourism Data Bank.
Implementation of Tourism Satellite Account (TSA):
The dearth of tourism statistics has now challenged the government to adopt the new statistical instrument designed by WTO for measurement of economic impact of tourism goods and services in the country. Already a Committee of users/producers of Tourism has been constituted and NTDC in liaison with statistical agencies, like FOS, NPS and CBN will organize seminars/workshops on the concept of tourism measurement, the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) nationwide, in accordance with international guidelines. NTDC requires the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the TSA, which will be jealously pursued in 2005.
(vii) Manpower Development and Training:
The success of Tourism, which is a business of human relations, is not only people-oriented but also people dependent, rests largely on how well the destination is packaged and presented, in relation to the expectation of potential tourists. Thus for tourism to develop and play the desired role in the economy, a guaranteed supply of high quality, well trained manpower for the sector is a necessity. The poor and sub-standard services in the industry today are due to lack of trained manpower. The half-baked job seekers from most of the catering schools do not possess relevant skills. The industry lacks well-planned manpower development strategy. To trigger the required boost in the tourism industry, the need to evolve a well articulated National Manpower Development and Training Programme cannot be over-emphasized. NIHOTOUR should be adequately funded and strengthened to enable it perform its statutory responsibility for Tourism education and control. Organisation of Tourism appreciation seminars and workshops aimed at creating awareness, enthusiasm and equipping operators in the industry with requisite knowledge should be a must for industry growth. Policy makers, actual and potential investors, industry facilitators like customs, immigration, police, taxi drivers and car hire operators etc. should be encouraged to participate in such seminars, as knowledge is wealth. Other measures include:
Establishment of a National Tourism Education Policy, incorporating public/private sector interests.
Establishment of a National Tourism Education Council to take care of: *coordination and monitoring of education and training in the tourism sector.
*Standardization of course curricula/national and regional accreditation.
*Lobbying for funds and technical assistance from international donors and
the private sector for on-shore and off-shore programmes.
(viii) Regulation, Standardization and Control in the Tourism Industry:
To ensure orderliness and maintenance of prescribed code of conduct in the industry, NTDC in liaison with FTAN should enact laws and regulations to govern the conduct of practitioners within the industry i.e. hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, car hire operators, etc. In the bid to encourage increased traffic flow in the country, steps must be taken to ensure that hospitality operators do not conduct themselves in acts that could be detrimental to the national goal of the tourism industry. This objective will be achieved through the ongoing Registration, Classification and Grading Exercise undertaken by NTDC, in collaboration with States and Local Governments in the Federation.
To offer accommodation services, all hotels for instance, irrespective of class must meet the minimum standard requirements with respect to maintenance of building, conditions of hygiene, sanitation, lighting, security, staff qualification, amongst others. The essence of the grading exercise is to ensure compliance with set international standards, to prepare grounds for the expected tourist boom, as customers get full value for their money and have confidence on standard of facilities and services provided in Nigeria . It will no doubt give room for the elimination of sub-standard outfits that provide shelter for criminals and prostitutes.
(ix) Tourism As A Tool For Poverty Alleviation:
As most of the nation's tourism attractions are in the rural areas, their development will have direct positive impact on the rural communities. To ensure sustainable tourism development, the active involvement of the local populace must be encouraged. WTO has evolved mechanism for maximizing the benefits of Tourism development for the poor which will be embraced holistically as follows:
Employment of the poor in tourism enterprises e.g. tour guiding.
Supply of goods and services to tourism enterprises by the poor – local food items.
Direct sales of goods and services to visitors by the poor – such as sales of handicrafts and souvenirs.
Establishment and running of tourism enterprises by the poor e.g. camp sites and catering services.
Tax or levy on tourism income or projects with proceeds benefiting the poor.
Voluntary giving/support to the host community by tourism enterprises and tourists.
Investment in infrastructure stimulated by tourism also benefiting the poor.
Fund raising opportunities for special events and activities such as entrance fees (gate takings), equipment, food sales and donations.
Encouraging eco-tourism, which generates interest and appreciation of natural areas.
Creating recreational and leisure activities, which can be patronized by the local community aside from tourists.
There is an urgent need to integrate rural-based economic programmes like NEPAD NAPEP, SMEDA with tourism investment programmes/projects especially on arts and crafts and small scale souvenir industries with the integration of the local communities in the tourism sector. Cooperative Units and Trade Associations will be encouraged to produce local souvenirs like bronze/brass works, woven clothes, wood/cane works etc. in commercial quantities for sale to tourists. It will no doubt boost the National Export Promotion drive, reduce the unemployment level and enhance the economic empowerment of the rural poor.
(x) Regional Cooperation/ECOWAS Integration:
In Africa , lack of regional cooperation among member states has been the bane for sustainable economic growth in the continent. To accelerate the growth of intra-Africa tourism there is need for greater understanding and cooperation among member states. The need and benefits of joint tourism promotions for instance, cannot therefore be over-amplified. The Commonwealth and ECOWAS Secretariats have tourism friendly policies which should be implemented for their practical and positive impact on the Africa continent. When the dichotomy between Anglophone and Francophone countries is discouraged, the ECOWAS integration move will pave way for easy implementation of the tourism goals of each member state within the sub-region.
(xi) Spiritual Intervention :
The Creator of the universe and the manufacturer of “human engine” rested after creation, showing us the example to follow for our well-being and happiness. There will be a boom in tourism if Nigerians learn to obey the divine injunction to rest. A campaign for the culture of rest and leisure should be embraced by all, as Tourism should be seen as a necessity, not a luxury in Nigeria . The need to preach Tourism as a health therapy , a preventive measure against killer diseases, like hypertension, which usually result from stress, cannot be over-emphasised. It is ironical for businessmen to shut down their factories for one month to allow the mechanical engines to rest, while they don't allow their “human engines” to rest and have a healthy population for greater productivity. It is a social responsibility of government to keep its work force alive by encouraging them to undertake paid holidays annually. NTDC in collaboration with tour operators should evolve packages whereby annual leave grants and saving scheme for holidays by tourism friendly banks, are tailored to actual rest programmes.
As the good book says, except the lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain . Men's hearts and steps, we all know, are controlled by God, so I strongly believe that as we commit the tourism industry into God's hands all roads will lead to Nigeria , as God directs their steps here, to fulfill the desires of our hearts. The Israeli tourism success story in-spite of the high risk level can only be explained by of the spiritual undertones.
5. Conclusion :
From the foregoing, to jumpstart the hospitality and tourism industry, we need amongst others:-
A strong public-private partnership with focus on grassroot development and active involvement of the rural populace.
A business plan to underpin implementation of the new PPP initiative by NTDC/FTAN, with inputs from all organized private sector tourism organizations.
Financial and moral support of Federal and State governments.
Safe, peaceful and friendly environment.
Easily accessible tourism products, standard food and lodging facilities with reliable basic amenities.
Convert the vision of “Operation Know Nigeria Programme” into concrete action.
Popularize the Tourism Leads Nigeria initiative with the One Village , One Product slogan.
The future of Tourism is bright , the challenges are great. For accelerated development, there is an urgent need for government, private sector stakeholders and the general public to pool resources together to maximize the gains from the development of the “ Tourism goldmine ”. With a clearly defined vision in focus, the national goal of making Nigeria the Ultimate Destination in the globe will be a reality.
6. Thank you for listening and God bless.