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Published on : Thursday, August 31, 2017
Mr Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation or NTDC, had recently mentioned that in order to develop Nigerian tourism, a more businesslike approach is required.
While speaking at the Jumia Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2017 on Tuesday organized in Lagos, Coker requested all the stakeholders to start seeing tourism through the lens of business. Rather, he urged not to look at tourism from the perspective of art and culture.
To quote Coker, “I would like to define clearly that tourism is a business. It’s not arts, it’s not culture. It consumes the products of culture that throws up a unique art. But it’s a business. There’s a general misunderstanding, especially in government, where it’s tourism, arts and culture. No. By default, the people have a culture. The culture throws up a unique art. Tourism is the business of transportation and hospitality that consumes those things that culture throws up.”
Coker was one of the main speakers at the conference. He addressed an audience that comprised many players related to the tourism sector, particularly rising entrepreneurs who are utilizing new media as a key marketing tool that would propel tourist activity within Nigeria.
Continuing he reaffirmed NTDC’s focus on domestic tourism. “I’m honestly not looking at the millions of dollar-earning foreigners to charge into Nigeria and spend the same kind of money they spend in Rio or Ibiza. The only way we are going to grow that international market is if we have a strong domestic market.
“In America in winter, they move from New York to Miami. In the UK, they move from London to Brighton. Those domestic industries are shock resistant because it’s dependent on the people there.”
Coker continued, “Nigeria has immense power with a population of close to 200 million with 76 per cent mobile penetration. You have three billion impressions a day, people who spend three hours daily on their mobile decives. That is soft power. Some of you using social media to drive your businesses, that is the power you are unleashing.”