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A great concept for all African cities


The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke has called on countries around the world to accord greater respect to Nigerians, who travel around the world for several legitimate reasons, describing them as high net worth tourists.

Duke stated this at the Ministerial Roundtable of the 20th General Assembly of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) being jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe with the theme; 'Visa Facilitation, Connectivity and Relations between Tourism and Air Transport Policies'.

Top on the agenda of the meeting was how to improve tourism development globally, by facilitating entry visas, especially, with regards to Africa and other places, to ensure unhindered connectivity for tourists, thereby promoting youth tourism.

The Minister said that Nigerians' contributions to tourism globally were an indication that they deserve greater respect.

Duke, who led the Nigerian delegation to the General Assembly, decried the situation where some countries come up with visa policies that impinge on connectivity by making it difficult for some nationals to travel for tourism, business and education.

"I was emphatic because many countries at the Roundtable spoke about using the benchmark for certain countries as yardstick for endorsing tourism in other parts of the world. For instance, you have countries that are not subscribed to the UNWTO Convention, but they are the preferred countries for many tourists, and it is now said that, when you have visas to those countries, you will have non-encumbrance access to those countries.

"My question is what about countries which are members of the UNWTO and are big source markets for Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America, and tourists from these are tourists spend big for the economies of the preferred countries. Why are they also not given visa facilitation and treated with great respect," the Minister asked.

"Often times because of our adventurous spirit and because of our desire to enhance knowledge by traveling to different parts of the world, Nigerians are regular travelers around the world.

This keeps embassies of foreign countries in Nigeria busy and thousands of flight seats are also filled by Nigerians traveling for different purposes including business, education, holiday, shopping and for other legitimate reasons.


By Premium Times, 5 July, 2013
The president, Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday night launched a new "tourism identity" as part of efforts to develop the tourism sector and diversify the nation's revenue sources.

The new identity, Fascinating Nigeria, was unveiled at a dinner held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, organised to showcase the country's rich tourism and cultural potentials.

The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, said the tourism sector, if properly harnessed, would generate income and attract investment to drive the country's economy.

He revealed that the Federal Government has placed greater emphasis on creating an enabling environment for harnessing the country's vast tourism potentials and resources and subsequently increased the budget of the Ministry of Tourism.

"This is because tourism, another huge revenue source is a means by which potentialities shall create employment and wealth for our teeming Nigerian youths," Mr. Sambo said on behalf of the president.

He noted that a brand identity with a strong marketing campaign which would have an emphasis on media and tour operator familiarization visits will go a long way in projecting Nigeria to the world.

"The cultural diversity, historic sites and slave routes together with the large Diaspora population provides an opportunity for success when packaged with festivals and events for presentation to the international and regional tour operators," he added.

Mr. Jonathan further observed that the choice of 'Fascinating Nigeria' as the nation's tourism brand identity was far-reaching as it represented the nation warmth, nature and rhythm.

"It is a testament to the richness of our land, embodying culture, growth and diversity."

According to the President, Nigeria has a lot to showcase to the world.

"Our movie industry is second in the world only after Hollywood, our football team is the reigning African Champions, our festivals are unrivaled on the African continent and our music is reigning supreme globally. We are ranked as one of the best places to do business and we are one of the fastest growing economies and an investment destination," he said.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, said tourism sector in 2012 had contributed three percent to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and 2.6 percent of total employment, making the sector second to oil and gas.

The event, which ended up with a night party, witnessed cultural displays and entertainment from the heterogeneous cultural diversity in Nigeria.

What they're saying about Nigeria - and Tourism

Nigeria: Gold mine waiting to be tapped
Exceerpt from Sun News Online, March, 2004

"Nigeria remains a gold mine as far as the tourism potentials are concerned. One of Nigeria's greatest blessings in this regard is her ethnic multiplicity, which translates to uncommon diversity as regards cultural festivals and calendars. Outside the traditional sphere, Nigeria also gains a great deal from her geography, especially with regard to vegetation and latitude or topography, which offers both tropical and near temperate climes within the country.

Covering an area of over 923,700 square km and a population in excess of 100 million, with proper harnessing of her tourism potentials, Nigeria could easily exceed the nation's foreign exchange expectations, after all, the country boasts at least 110 tourist sites. Between the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, the Federal Capital, Nigeria holds more 250 hotels. Over 100 of these hotels qualify as good. And about 30 registered tour operators could be found around Lagos, the country's commercial hub."

´´Calabar soup with periwinkles is famous in Nigeria. Nigerians say if a Calabar woman cooks for you, you´ll never leave town."

Much more to come. To send your favorite excerpt, e mail africa@dowco.com

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