At the meeting, FTAN President, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, reiterated the fact that cultural tourism is Nigeria’s most competitive tourist product. The President recalled that leisure tourist arrivals to Africa are mostly in two categories, that is, either wildlife safari destinations, such as in East Africa, or cultural tourism destinations, such as in West Africa.
Alhaji Rabo emphasized that Nigeria’s ethnic diversity of over 300 cultural groups makes the country more appealing to cultural tourism source markets, like South America and Africans in Diaspora. And the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) core mandate includes, promoting Nigerian arts and culture.
Accordingly, some FTAN delegates at the meeting expressed their readiness to collaborate with officials of the NCAC, in conjunction with relevant traditional institutions, to professionally package some of Nigeria’s cultural events, including Osun Oshogbo festival, Argungu Fishing festivals, Sallah Durbars, Abuja carnival and many others. The whole idea is to market such cultural tourism products at international tourist markets. They would be sold as full inclusive tour programs.
Alhaji offered FTAN’s plan to come up with a Nigeria Tourism Calendar. The Calendar would have inputs from cultural tourism stakeholders and the traditional institutions in host communities across Nigeria. This, partly, informs FTAN Tourism Sensitization visits to stakeholders and government agencies involved with tourism destination management. Recall that, last week, some FTAN executive members visited the DG, NTDC, Mr. Folarin-Coker as well as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, both in Abuja.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja after the meeting with the NCAC officials, FTAN President stressed that the executive members are determined to continue their Nigeria Tourism Sensitization visits.
All these developments are following the just concluded FTAN executive members’ retreat that held at Kapital Club hotel Abuja on August 4th and 5th 2017.