Experts have said Nigerians cannot afford to fold their hands and expect miracle development to happen to the country’s tourism without any effort.
They made this declaration at the tourism entertainment event—coined as touritainment held in Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos recently.
At the event which was attended by ambassadors, ministers, traditional rulers, tourism enthusiasts and many others, the chief host, Mrs Omotayo Omotosho, revealed how ready the people of the country are to march forward in the world’s biggest industry.
Omotosho, popularly referred to as Madam Tourism, noted that with an overwhelming turnout of the eminent personality that graced the occasion, the outcome of their discussions would mark the beginning of a success story in Nigerian Tourism.
Addressing the gathering, Omotosho described the turnout of the event as what spoke volumes on how ready Nigeria was to get to the front burner of the tourism in the continent.
According to her, “Let’s go explore the low hanging fruits. Let’s celebrate what we have got, don’t let us be looking at things that are pretty far.”
She added, “Don’t let us be waiting till every infrastructure will be in place. We wouldn’t wait marketing Nigeria until we get all that. It will be suicidal if we wait because other nations are not waiting. Anambra State is not waiting, Cross River State is not waiting, even Lagos State is not waiting. Why should we wait as individuals? Why should we wait as tourism enthusiasts and tour operators?”
Omotosho maintained that what many called low hanging fruits are basically the country’s rich cultural tourism products which is “our festivals: New Yam festival, Argungu festival, Kano Durbar Festival, Osun Osogbo Festival, Black Heritage festival, Eyo Festival and many others.”
At the event, tourism products like fashion, shoes, arts and many others were exhibited aplenty at the Tourism Exhibition Market by Adire Lounge, Stitches by IMAK, Willie Jones Couture, one of Nigeria’s leading Fashion Brand –AY Stitches, OG Wears, Sky View Communications, Peacefulsky, Properties Everywhere, My Beautiful Africa, Longrich, Energy Smart Nigeria (esng).
Also, chief tourism enthusiasts who have made and still making impacts in the sector were honoured with awards and just as it unveiled Tourism Edge – Travelogue Ambassadors: Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State; Hon. Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were honoured for tourism development; Dr Raphael James got recognition for educational tourism while Dr Newton Jibunor, a celebrated environmentalist was unveiled as an ambassador.