Photo: Mr Folorunsho Coker, DG, NTDA.
Tourism a trillion-dollar industry – NTDA DG
Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Authority (NTDA), says tourism is a trillion-dollar industry whose value chain interconnects many sub-sectors, providing employment for millions of people.
Coker, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that tourism had been a major contributor to national GDPs.
He described the sector as a ”low hanging fruit” for Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
Coker said, “Its value chain is vast. This ranges from the hospitality sector to aviation and transportation, destination management, souvenir production, event packaging, carnivals, festivals and cultural promotions, among others.
“The opportunities of leveraging this key growth sector to create jobs, shore up revenue and add to the nation’s GDP are limitless.
“My team and I strongly believe that to become a tourism hub in Africa, we need to first develop domestic tourism. Sadly, Africa only accounts for four per cent of this market.”
The NTDA boss said that there was need for stakeholders in the tourism industry to wake up to their responsibilities and collaboratively work towards the growth of the sector.
According to him, the development of domestic tourism will increase the country’s attraction to sponsors and investors, adding that this will, in turn, develop the industry.
He said that it would also develop the industry’s assets which would culminate in infrastructural development and open up the huge potential of the sector.
Coker also lauded the appointment of Ms Lola Ade-John as the new Minister of Tourism, describing her as “a notable professional with cognate experience in the information and disruptive technology space”.
“I am positive that her appointment to the Ministry of Tourism is just what the industry needs,” he added.
The NTDA boss said that the new ministry of tourism would offer the required growth structure for promoting the country as a destination of choice for many across the world.
He said that the demand for Nigerian tourism was geared towards strengthening the sector to surpass the pre-COVID levels.
Coker noted that, globally, tourism had recovered its post-COVID value by 80 per cent.
“Africa has recovered its post-COVID value by as much as 88 per cent; clearly, the opportunities for domestic growth of the sector are enormous,” he said. ( NAN)