The use of technology in the Tourism and Hospitality ecosystems has been described as vital to the sectors’ development and recovery.
The conclusion was made in the communique issued at the end of the one-day Tourism Stakeholders’ Interactive Meeting, held in Calabar, Cross River State, with the theme: The Use of Digital Technology to Revamp Tourism and Hospitality Industry Amid COVID-19 and Security Challenges in Nigeria, on Thursday.
While describing domestic tourism as six times larger than international tourism, the stakeholders emphasised the need for government to invest more in infrastructure development to aid the digital revolution.
Earlier, Tourism was premised on an analogue experience, but now, it has become a necessity to adopt Technology to drive Travel and Tourism.
The communique reads in part: “The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has taken a bold step to collaborate with digital platforms like Facebook, Google and Wikimedia. It is highly recommended that other stakeholders should follow suit and collaborate.
“That domestic tourism is by far more beneficial to the country than international tourism. It contributed about an N7billion, amounting to 4.4% contribution to GDP as at 2019 and is a sufficient baseline for ascending socio-economic growth.
“That all Stakeholders in the Industry should as a matter of urgency embrace technology to aid their businesses.
“That deliberate attempts should be made by the government to provide adequate, accessible and interest friendly funding for the industry such as the establishment of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF).
“That Government should create an enabling environment for improved synergy amongst the various stakeholders in the tourism industry.
“That there is a need for a deliberate focus on the identification, development and upgrading of our tourist sites. To this end, funding for research is key.
“That there is a need for a review of all Tourism Master plans, laws and regulations to address the new normal.
“That Stakeholders and Government at all levels (State and Local Government) should change our narrative by adopting innovative business model approaches to the running of sustainable tourism.”
The stakeholders concluded that “The pandemic has left us, with workable solutions and tremendous benefits if we embrace and deploy technology to drive tourism and hospitality growth.”