Government Turns to Travel and Tourism Industry to Revitalise the Economy
With oil revenue on the decline as a result of the global financial crisis, the Federal Government of Nigeria has been looking for ways to give its economy new life. Realising that tourism is a strong alternative to crude oil as a revenue earner in view of declining oil prices in world markets, it has selected the industry as one of the six priority sectors for launching the revival of the economy. The Federal Government has made tourism its main instrument for achieving Nigeria’s seven-point agenda and Vision 20:2020 programme. Through the diversification process, it hopes to reposition the industry as an alternative source of revenue.
Investment Drive Attracting Foreign Investors
Nigeria’s preparedness for tourism development is a key factor to the Federal Government’s investment drive to attract a huge amount of foreign direct investment in the travel and tourism industry. In partnership with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, the Federal Government has been promoting and also creating and enabling business environment for potential investors who want to partner with the government to develop critical tourism infrastructure and generate employment in the industry. As a result, Nigeria is being increasingly appreciated in terms of tourism as many investors from all over the world indicate interest in the country’s travel and tourism industry.
Lagos Seeking Global-City Status via Tourism
Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria and one of the largest cities in Africa and in the world. The city is largely known as a business-oriented destination, but is also famous for its seaside tourist attractions, entertainment scenes and the liveliness it offers. The metropolis is gradually becoming a major tourist destination and is currently taking steps to achieve a world city status. The promotion of cultural festivals, sport tourism, as well as the organisation of investment trade fairs such as the Lagos Mega City Expo are some of the steps taken by the state government of Lagos towards achieving the world city status.
Air Navigation Infrastructure Improvement Boosts Air Transport Safety
The Federal Government’s investment in Nigeria’s air transport sector has given air transportation in the country a new face by making travelling by air safer. In recent years, the Federal Ministry of Aviation has put in place best practice standards to reinforce the level of safety achieved in Nigeria’s airspace. The Federal Government has provided billions of Naira to the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency to acquire modern facilities to boost air navigation in the country’s skies. The money will also be used for the construction of new airports terminals as well as the upgrading and expansion of existing ones. All these would help boost Nigeria’s aviation safety as well as increase air traffic volume in the passenger segment.
New Travel and Tourism Products to Brighten Industry in the Future
With the current global economic meltdown, the NTDC has been embarking on measures to propel the travel and tourism industry to a desirable level. It has launched a wide range of tourism products including, among others, tourism cash card, tourism friendly buses, in-cab vision in taxis,Nigeria tourists market online, satellite navigator system, and a mobile phone planner. The launch of these new products is the first of its kind in Nigeria and a new dimension to the development of tourism in the country. It would not only enable travellers and tourists to enjoy their stay in Nigeria, but also add value to the travel and tourism industry in the long-term.
(Extract from Euromonitor International’s report “Travel and Tourism in Nigeria”)