Africa: Events that shaped tourism in Nigeria in 2018
Nigerian tourism Industry in 2018 made some progress even though it might not have been at the level desired by industry practitioners. Some of the key events in the sector this year include:
Nigeria hosts UNWTO-CAF meeting
It was an opportunity for Nigeria to host Africa and the world and also showcase her tourism assets. The UNWTO-CAF meeting was held in June. The Information and Culture Ministry led by Alhaji Lai Mohammed put up a good performance to endear the country to the visitors. The delegation to the 61st CAF meeting was led by the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili. He described the meeting in Abuja as one of the most successful events of the global body.
He said the UNWTO will leverage on the success of the meeting to promote Nigeria to become a top tourist destination in the world and commended the minister for putting Nigeria on the global tourism map.
Lagos State tourism master plan
The 2018 Akwaaba West African Travel Market offered the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture led by Mr. Steve Ayorinde the opportunity to unveil the Lagos Tourism master plan. It is a 15-year blueprint that would midwife the growth and development of Lagos into a major tourist destination Africa.
Giving details of the master plan, Ayorinde said the Lagos State Government’s tourism master plan has adequately captured the potential of spiritual or religious tourism, and that the primary concern of state government was to ensure that the infrastructure and enabling environment to drive tourism development was fully in place.
Ayorinde said the master plan was geared toward showcasing the state as major tourism destination across the world. According him, the long term strategic master plan, which is being prepared by Messrs Ernst & Young, will focus on six sectors: Culture and Heritage, Film, Art and Entertainment, Business Tourism, Nature and Adventure, Medical and Wellness, Beach and Leisure.
Ayorinde said: “If you look at the six sectors in broad terms, you will see that they have captured every area of tourism as far as business development and promotion are concerned and the interest of government is to develop the ecosystem of tourism, the practitioners, the tour operators everybody who has been involved over the years, will basically drive their businesses”.
Abuja hosts NTIFE
Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition, NTIFE, a national exhibition and conference organised by the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, was held in Abuja.
Speaking ahead of the event, FTAN President, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, said NTIFE promotes domestic tourism and creates a forum for the various associations and players in the industry to interact and network as well as showcase their products and services. He said this year’s edition will be enriching and fulfilling.Rabo revealed that this year’s event was a notch higher and different from the past editions as the federation built on the gains from past editions .
INAC opens Nigeria’s craft industry to the world
The National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC) raised the bar in 2018 in the promotion of Nigerian arts and craft and its potential as a revenue earner. The parastatal’s expo was a departure from previous years.
Held under the theme, Networking Nigerian Arts and Craft to the World, the week-long event was a first for the organisation as it moved from a national (and sometimes continental) event to one with participation from countries across continents, with African, Asian and American countries ably represented.
NCAC, under the leadership of Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, made sure to put Nigeria’s best foot forward, not just with products displayed, but also with presentations at the numerous workshops held to educate and empower participants and guests that thronged the venue, the FCT Exhibition Pavilion next to the International Conference.
It recognized the need to use culture as a tool of both diplomacy and tourism, the NCAC actively sought and got the participation of more than 20 countries including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; China and Korea; Iran and Syria; Mexico, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Hungary and a host of African countries; Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso and more to participate in the International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC).
Runsewe said based on the number of countries with embassies in Nigeria – well over a hundred – and the international airlines that do business in the country, there is no reason why the expo shouldn’t be bigger and better in coming years.
SCOAN Youtube channel hits one million subscribers
Nigeria has become a major tourism hub for religious tourism in Africa. People from all over the world troop to Nigeria to find spiritual solutions to their problems. Pastor T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) is at the forefront in receiving these tourist visitors. The church’s Youtube channel hit a subscriber base of one million in 2018.
Another impressive figure also shows that number of views of the channel has hit 387 million.
Emmanuel TV was launched on March 8, 2006 by Prophet T.B. Joshua, the Senior Pastor and founder of SCOAN as well as the Executive Producer of Emmanuel TV. The viewership cuts across a diverse audience in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America.
by Okorie Uguru