Tourism Development in Nigeria
Nigeria needs to diversify its economy away from over-reliance on oil. It can achieve this through tourism development which has the potential to be a major foreign exchange earner and create employment opportunities.
Ecotourism also promotes cultural preservation by encouraging the local community to preserve their traditional heritage and encourages cross-cultural exchange. Moreover, it creates economic growth through job creation and foreign investment.
1. Develop a National Tourism Policy
The development of a national tourism policy is a key factor in the growth of a tourism industry. It can provide a framework for tourism development in Nigeria and encourage private sector participation.
It can also facilitate foreign direct investment inflow into the tourism and hospitality sector, bringing in capital, technology and expertise. This can stimulate economic growth and development. It can also create forward and backward linkages with other sectors of the economy.
2. Develop a National Tourism Strategy
The tourism sector has a critical role to play in economic development, poverty alleviation and national integration. It is therefore important to develop a national tourism strategy that addresses these issues.
Empowerment of local communities through the development of tourism is essential for sustainable development. This can be achieved through the creation of local government tourism committees and village development committees.
3. Develop a National Tourism Brand
Tourism is a key development sector and has the potential to generate foreign exchange, create employment opportunities and promote rural enterprises. It can also contribute to national integration, cultural preservation and mutual understanding.
Nigeria is rich in enduring cultural heritage and offers a variety of natural sites and events that can attract tourists. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed.
4. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Strategy
Tourism can generate foreign exchange earnings through the influx of international tourists. It can also help to improve the country’s balance of payments position, boost international trade and enhance economic stability.
Adaora (2010) affirms that tourism contributes to the socio economic development of many nations. Nigeria has a rich culture and diverse natural resources that can be used for tourism purposes.
5. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Plan
Nigeria is home to a wealth of tourist attractions that are well worth exploring. These include extended and roomy rivers, beaches that are suitable for swimming and other water sports, unique wildlife and traditional ways of life that have been preserved in local customs.
The government has made a commitment to diversifying the country’s revenue base and tourism is a key part of this plan. Marketing strategy is an important tool for achieving this goal.
6. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Strategy
The Nigeria tourism industry should be developed to make it a major revenue earner for the country. This can be achieved through standardisation and sanitisation of the hospitality industry, promoting and advertising the nation’s endowments to tourists.
The establishment of a standalone Ministry of Tourism is a positive step towards realising this objective. It also shows the government’s commitment to sourcing for revenue outside oil.
7. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Plan
Tourism is a major industry in Nigeria which contributes to the nation’s economy, provides employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings for economic development. It also promotes national unity among people of different racial backgrounds and enhances cultural values.
However, a number of challenges have hindered the growth of tourism in Nigeria. These include political instability, poor tourism information system, insecurity and inadequate infrastructure.
8. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Strategy
The country is rich in enduring cultural traditions. These cultural heritages can be turned into business entreprises for local communities.
Nigeria’s tourism development potential is undeniable. However, the sector faces some challenges that need to be addressed. These include: i. Insufficient funding. ii. Lack of effective marketing and promotion. iii. Inadequate infrastructure. iv. Poor standard of training. v. Inadequate governmental support.
9. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Plan
Tourism is an industry that Nigeria can utilize to diversify her economy. This will alleviate unemployment and reduce the over-dependence on oil for foreign exchange earnings.
Nigeria is blessed with many natural, cultural and environmental resources that can make her a competitive tourist destination. Developing her tourism potentials would increase her revenue base and make her more competitive in the global market.
10. Develop a National Tourism Marketing Strategy
A national tourism marketing strategy should be developed to promote Nigeria’s endowments and attract international tourists. This should include improving airport infrastructure, simplifying visa requirements, and promoting the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Nigeria’s diverse natural beauty, enduring cultural traditions, and friendly hospitality offer visitors a wide range of attractions. The development of tourism will contribute significantly to the economy and enhance Nigeria’s image abroad.