TOURISM & HOSPITALITY FORUM 2016
17th of May 2016, beheld yet another landmark in the advancement of Nigerian tourism with the Tourism and Hospitality Forum 2016 organized by The Institute of Directors Nigeria (IOD). Held at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, the event was geared towards proffering ideas and solutions for uplifting the tourism and hospitality industry in Nigeria, a grossly untapped yet potentially lucrative sector for the country as well as the private sector. Tourism and hospitality is the most significant form of foreign exchange and the highest single employer of labor.
The discussion was stimulating and thoughtprovoking with every discussant shedding light on several key areas worth looking into:
The South African Tourism Chief Quality Assurance Officer, Darryl Erasmus elucidated the need for and strategy towards grading and structuring proper quality assurance checks for hospitality ventures in Nigeria and it’s benefits. He cited the South African paradigm as one that could be replicated in Nigeria and added that South Africa was indeed willing to render support in actualizing this. Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Commission, Dr. Sally Mbanefo gave in-depth information about Nigeria’s tourism drive and results thus far, places and activities of interest that need focus, the diverse tourism potential and all the more. Mr Joseph Olofinsola gave thought-provoking statistics about the snail paced growth of Nigeria’s tourism drive and its competitive status in the world. An analysis of Indian tourism development was also given as a model.
The Ooni of Ife also spoke about Nigeria’s tourism potential, describing the nation as the most blessed in the world. The pioneer of Ife Tourism mentioned a number of indigenous artifacts and crafts that are presently been displayed in museums all over the world, imploring media practitioners to project the country with a cup-half-full perspective in order to sell Nigeria to the world. He further mentioned some cultural mysteries and wonders worth showcasing to the world at large.
Other speakers include the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Folorunsho Folarin-coker, Founder of Hoteloga, Marek Zymyslowski and the President of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Chief Tomi Akingbogun.
NTDC focus is tuned towards developing domestic tourism and first attracting both Nigerians and Foreigners living in Nigeria to patronize global.” her tourism products as a prequel to going
Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission, Dr. Sally Uwechue Mbanefo