Nigeria’s tourism stakeholders have once again advocated for a full Ministry of Tourism and Culture so that tourism can receive the desired attention from the government.
This is just as they called for adequate funding for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in charge of Tourism for better performance.
The tourism stakeholders who were participants at the Tourism Journalism Communication Training programme organised for members of Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET) in Abuja with the theme: “Building a Sustainable Destination through Tourism Reportage”, by National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) in collaboration with National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) reiterated the need for the ministry and agencies in charge of implementing Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) to adopt a realistic approach towards having a useful Tourism statistics in Nigeria.
In a communique issued at the end of the four days training in Abuja, the participants stressed that the TSA is a critical tool for tourism development.
The tourism players urged all stakeholders to live up to expectation and turn the potential of the sector into reality because tourism is beneficial to individuals, communities, states and nations.
The participants also called for greater co-ordination between stakeholders, to ensure sustainable tourism development in the industry.
The forum enjoined travel writers to go beyond reporting; but to also work as a pressure group that can facilitate rapid change in the industry, including balanced reportage in accordance with professional code of conduct and ethics.
It urged tourism and Culture agencies to make their presence felt and be functional in every state, considering the importance of their mandates to tourism development.
Other decisions reached at the training and contained in the communique include: That the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in charge of Tourism should be adequately funded for better performance, the dire need to privatize the tourist sites to make them functional, the need for relevant agencies of government on tourism to create platforms to educate operators, managers of tourism destination and communities on crisis management.
The forum further called for NCAC Zonal offices to be given autonomy to run programmes or collaborate with other stakeholders, including having diplomatic staff in all embassies, while NIHOTOUR should do more by publicizing its programmes and activities through print, electronic media and Road shows.
It was noted in the communique that for the impact of Tourism to be felt in Nigeria, infrastructural facilities such as roads, airports, rail and water ways must be developed and well maintained, while airport users should be enlightened on areas/zones for photo shoot to aviod harrasement.
The participants while appreciating NIHOTOUR, NTDC and NCAC for making the ANJET training a reality, implored the agencies to make the Training programme an annual event, in view of its importance to Tourism promotion and development.