Ikechi presenting the papers
Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN)
President, Alhaji Saleh Rabo made this known to Journalists during an interview session at the venue of the federation’s 2019 Annual AGM meeting held in Abuja on 12th July, 2019. He said that FTAN being official umbrella of all tourism related private sector operators in Nigeria is poised ready to gather much needed tourism datas from all the related tourism operators members for the further development of tourism in Nigeria, that will enable the federation boost and foster sustainable tourism development that can stand the test of time.
This year theme: “Research & Advocacy as Tools for Sustainable Tourism Development” was aimed in exploring how data collection and advocacy will aid in boosting and positioning Nigeria in tourism lane as the rest of tourism high earning nations in the world.
He says, ” We came up with the theme of this year because of the importance of research and advocacy in tourism development with particular reference to Africa. We are trying use new data collection which will entail working together to develop tourism in Nigeria. We believe that the only way is through research and advocay that is having good data to work with and, through which we can plan for now, and the future. Let me tell you, data and advocacy is the only tools that can lead to tourism development right now, especially when we are talking about sustainable tourism that can stand the test of time”.
Rabo went further to emphasize that it was after much thought they came up with the idea of inviting someone very versed with the importance of data and advocacy to tourism developments to speak to them on the topic.
He adds, ” The data has to be collected from the various organisations who are into tourism sector and Ftan being the umbrella body of all that include hotels, travel agencies, tour operators etc, will embark on that nationwide.
According to him all the data collected would be used for any tourism development in Nigeria when transmitted to the satellite account and will also be used by anybody coming into Nigeria to invest in tourism.
FTAN President Rabo siezed the opportunity to state categorically, that tourism in Nigeria is not growing at the rate expected, that beside security challenges, inability of not yet having standard tourism resource and good reliable information to work with are among those challenges facing tourism development in Nigeria.
Similarly, Chairman, FTAN’s Board of Trustees, Samuel Alabi in an interview called on Nigeria press to assist in driving tourism in Nigeria by projecting the nation in good limelight to the world, after all Egypt known as the insecurity boiling point is hosting football tournament without any recorded incident and people are visiting there.
” We need people to visit our tourism sites and you press has to help us by not giving negative information about Nigeria to the outside world because if you continue giving negative information about Nigeria, people will never come here because they will always look at Nigeria as a bad destination place. But if you talk about positive things we have, it will go a long way of promoting us and tourists will be visiting us as a destination.
“Take instance of Egypt, a known boiling point but they are now hosting football tournament and no incident has been recorded so far.
Insecurities in Nigeria is not all that serious to deter any serious minded tourist to come and visit. The issue is that we always perceived things so extreme”, Alabi said.
Further, he remarked that Nigeria needs to build tourism destinations so people can visit to enjoy works of nature and mankind that hotels is not one of the reason people visit a place, that nobody goes to hotel to look at the buildings, he says, “It is something that will bring the tourist to a vicinity. It is after the person must have achieved his or her objectives that issue of where to stay will arise”
He charged on each Nigeria state governor to come up with his state’s tourism masterplan and put in motion strategies that will draw attention to their respective tourism sites, as each state in Nigeria has something different to offer to the tourism enthusiasts.
The guest speaker and the Organiser of Akwaaba Travel Market/Accra Weizo, Ikechi Uko was guest speaker at the event, he presented the paper on the topic: Research & Advocacy as Tools for Sustainable Tourism Development. His watchword- “Even Nigeria Movie makers should try to use their movies to market tourism destinations in Nigeria.
To the FTAN members he says, “Let your research and advocacy results be based on facts not the truth”
At the end election where held and new exco members were elected and inaugurated.
It saw Rabo Saleh Karim of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies [NANTA], re-elected as a president.
Other elected executive members include Nkereuwem Onung as the first National Deputy President; Abiodun Odusanwo, second National Deputy President, Ayo Olumoko Vice President, South West; Nura Kangiwa, Vice President, North East; Ngozika Ngoka, Vice President South East; Badaki Aliyu, Vice President , FCT, Eugene Nwanzi, Vice President South South and John A. Adzer, Vice President, North Central
Also elected are, Ime Udo, Membership Secretary, John-Likita M. Best, Emeka Anokwuru, Membership Secretary, Okorie Uguru, First Publicity Secretary and Joseph Karim, Publicity Secretary.
They are elected and some re-elected to pilot the affairs of the body for the next two years.
Pamela Ogwata reports.