Friday, 14 June 2019 00:00

Nigeria Tourism Master Plan 2005: Our Editorial Review & Recommendations

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A Tourism master plan is important to the development of the Tourism sector. Especially, in Nigeria where the Tourism sector has been identified with major economic and human development issues, such as alleviation of poverty, employment generation, etc.

In 2005, the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, set up a Presidential Committee to come up with a Nigeria Tourism Development Master Plan. This was with the active support of key Tourism bodies including the UNWTO and one Tourism Development International Ltd, a Nigerian firm. Shortly after a report was delivered, including a draft and final report; written between February to November 2005. 

The project team acknowledged the Federal and State governments and the private sectors who welcomed and assisted the team to make the master plan a success with evident interest and willingness to support and share information.

The master plan is structured into three volumes. Volume 1 has the Situation Analysis from field research, consultations, desk and market research carried out. Volume 2 explores Strategic Recommendations and implementations with clearly stated directions of the tourism  master plan. Lastly, volume 3 covers Technical Reports and appendices which elaborates the Findings and Recommendations of the master plan with an overview from the analysis of the economic impact of tourism on the economy of Nigeria, marketing approach, Tourism policy, visa regime, amongst others.

The strategic recommendations address overall issues, showing the way forward and technical processes to make the plan successful. These recommendations includes, allocation of investment resources to sites of regional significance, development of tourism products, establish Tourism Security Committee to coordinate the security aspect, promotion of festivals and events, branding Nigeria to project a vibrant image across the globe, etc.

Evidently, the economic benefits from tourism activities will spread much wider and touch a great number of the country's population. Tourism is one of the highest paying national economic resources around the world and with the implementation of the strategic recommendations below, sustainable economic growth in the tourism sector and the country is assured.

 

ENSURE TOURIST SECURITY

Security is one of the fundamental situations which affects economic, social, ecological and general development of any country. Hence, the need to maintain a secured tourism destination is crucial, because naturally every individual requires security for stability. Besides, security is a prerequisite for the tourism industry to gain grounds.

A major determinant in a travellers decision to visit a destination is the perception of safety and security, as such, effective security measures should be implemented to portray Nigeria as a safe destination for tourists which will boost the image of the country and attract international tourists and investors.

GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

The abundant endowment of tourism attractions Nigeria, in terms of resources and culture, makes it one of the leading countries in the world with a great influence for stimulating the curiosity and interest of foreigners to explore and satisfy such curiosity.

For Nigeria to be a leading tourism destination, the Government needs to contribute to the tourism sector to foster tourism development in the country. Since tourism contributes to the country's revenue through direct contributions like taxes on incomes from tourism employment and tourism business and through direct levies on tourists, such as departure taxes, foreign exchange earnings, infrastructure investment, etc. 

CULTURE AND FESTIVALS AS TOURISM PRODUCTS

Cultural tourism is a significant brand of Nigeria tourism which has not been exploited as it should, rather Nigeria has been fixated with other natural resources, particularly oil and gas. This had led of official neglect of the diverse  and fascinating cultural festivals which can attract tourists from across the globe. 

The identification and development of such fascinating cultural festivals that abound in the country, such as 'ovia ossesse' festival in Kogi state (festival of virgins) and many more can catch the interest of foreign tourists and investors, and serve as a major source of income with a multiplier effects at the tourist host communities. 

Read 178 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:30
Prislla Joseph

Priscilla Joseph is a Leisure and Tourism Management practitoner with unquenchable interest to contribute in making TOURISM a major source of income to Nigeria. 

Priscilla is zealous about branding Nigeria to be the number one appeal to tourist, especially with the abundant tourism resources in the country. I am also interested in the economic value of Nigerian culture, arts and entertainment, especially as it relates to Cultural Tourism. 

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