Expert laments collapse of Nigeria’s tourism sector  

The Executive Director of Tourism Volunteers Initiative for Sustainable Development also known as Tourism Volunteers Network, Amb Phill Roberts says the focus on oil has led to the collapse of the country’s tourism sector.

Data from the World Travel Council estimates that revenue from Nigeria tourism exceeded $10 billion in 2007, accounting for approximately 6 percent of the Gross Domestic Profit (GDP).  

Amb. Roberts said that tourism is also a potential source of foreign direct investment adding that it is a catalyst for development and rapid urbanization, not to mention its impact on environmental conservation. 

He said, “For us as a nation to benefit from tourism, governments at all levels- Federal, state and local-should play active roles in developing tourist sites throughout the country by providing adequate facilities and cutting-edge infrastructure.”

He said there is a need to support the manufacturing of goods as tourists would need to eat, drink and relax while in the country stressing that the government should make the best use of the media for public awareness and high-quality publicity campaigns.

He said the government should boost the sector by investing in the country’s infrastructure.  

“They want more and more tourists to visit their country which means that safe and advanced facilities are necessary. 

“This leads to new roads and highways, developed parks, improved public spaces, new airports, and possibly better schools and hospitals. Safe and innovative infrastructures allow for a smooth flow of goods and services. 

“Moreover, the citizens experience an opportunity for economic and educational growth. That is not all. Tourism creates a cultural exchange between tourists and local citizens. Exhibitions, conferences, and events usually attract foreigners.

“Organizing authorities usually gain profits from registration fees, gift sales, exhibition spaces, and sales of media copyright. Furthermore, foreign tourists bring diversity and cultural enrichment to the hosting country,” he said.