The Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Mr Folorunsho Coker, has urged Nigerians to promote the country’s culture and its abundant heritage.
Coker made the appeal at the second edition of Nigerian flavours event in Abuja.
He said appreciating and promoting Nigerian products would help tourism to thrive as well as increase asset to the country.
He explained that the country was blessed with abundance of foods and the event was an avenue to sell to the world the richness of the nation’s heritage.
According to NTDC boss, it was imperative for the nation to make the best of its potentials in terms of culture, food, fashion in order to ensure tourism became an enviable commodity.
He said that the ceremony was a home-grown event used in showcasing the rich abundance of Nigerian foods, drinks, fashion and music among others.
“It is imperative for Nigerian flavours to be taken round the country as well as expect it to be replicated in Kano, Kaduna, Jos among others at every event.
“What we are looking for now is partnership with people for the Nigerian flavours event to happen simultaneously, for example during Independence Day in Nigeria after the parade.
“Everyone is a stakeholder in tourism and we must now travel; it’s time for Nigerian flavours to be released to the states and they can do wonderful things in terms of tourism.
“The states have always done something about tourism, but it is now intensified because we have an officer in the state and the six geo-political offices are constantly being engaged by writing them from time to time or by visitation.
“We also write reports to them on what we can do to improve tourism turnover in their respective states ” he said.
Coker therefore enjoined Nigerians to tour round the country and appreciate its flavours in terms of fashion, music as well as consume the produce stressing that consuming more of Nigerian made products would grow the nation’s brand.
The NTDC boss added that the event had brought together a market for people in one spot and it also increased revenue directly to the pockets of a household industry which was a backbone of any tourism infrastructure be it big hotels, guest houses and others.
Coker who noted that that investment in tourism had not been seen as a business in the country said its organisation was constantly educating people that tourism was a business to venture into.
“We are looking for a bigger framework to help people understand that tourism is a business and that will also make it attractive for funding and give money to people to invest in it.
“Religion is also a flavour in Nigeria and we can have an event across Nigeria such as Muslim festival that is religiously sensitive as well as a Christian Carol based choir singing competition as a way of promoting tourism across the country.
“We have to make the best use of what we have here because what we have in Nigeria is abundant and if we consume more of our own we will grow our own brand,” he said.