By Taiye Olayemi
The Institute of Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), on Friday called on the management of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria to work on educating Nigerians at the grassroots on the potential of tourism.
Alhaji Abdulhamid Sherif, National Vice President, ITPN, made the call during the closing programme of the two-day Lagos Tourism Roundtable, organised by the ITPN held in Lagos.
The theme for the programme is “Lagos Tourism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, with the sub-theme, “The Role of Local Government in Tourism Development in Lagos”.
Sherif said that Nigerians at the grassroots level who were the main custodians of tourism potential in the country, had exhibited ignorance of those potentials.
He, however, said that those at the grassroots need to be educated on the need to preserve the potential and further invest in it for wealth creation.
“The Lagos state Local Government Service Commission is advised to enlighten the people at the grassroots on the essence of tourism and the available potential within each local government.
“This is necessary so that people can create wealth within their immediate environment and be able to identify those potentials and the need to protect and preserve them,” he said.
Also, Mrs Fatimah Sule, Deputy Director, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), urged the local government across the country to work on maintaining the existing tourism sites within their communities.
She said for remarkable improvement in the industry, tourism practitioners must consciously make efforts to be digitally and information technology compliant.
According to her, this will put practitioners at vantage positions to create wealth and be successful in developing the industry.
Mr Albert Opara, Tourism and Transport Product Manager, Sterling Bank, said the local government needs to be guided on the economic benefits of tourism to be able to harness the potentials.
He advised the youths and tourism practitioners to be involved in politics to be able to influence the implementation of favourable policies for industry’s growth.
Mr Ayo Omotosho, Chief Executive Officer, Travelogue, urged Nigerian youths to engage in creative thinking to bring up innovations that can advance the industry.
“We need to develop the right attitude for the growth of tourism, this is a way to be hospitable, creative and develop the right skills,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day Roundtable programme featured exhibitions of locally-made goods. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi