Expert Counsels Govt on Grassroots’ Tourism Development | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Expert Counsels Govt on Grassroots’ Tourism Development

Posted: May 1, 2015 at 12:58 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A culture and tourism consultant with Panafest Foundation of Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Oluwafunso, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to enact policies for local communities or grassroots’ tourism development in the country.

Oluwafunso told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that this was imperative because cultural heritage and tourism could be traceable to the grassroots or local communities.

“To develop tourism, government should enact favourable policies that would favour the custodians of our historical and cultural heritage which are basically found at the grassroots,“ Oluwafunso said.

The consultant said government should also rehabilitate roads, provide stable electricity and other amenities for the local communities, so that tourists could easily travel to the hinterland.

“Nigeria is endowed with numerous tourist sites and many of them are situated in the hinterland.

“Unfortunately, there are no access roads to many of the sites, no electricity and no conducive accommodation like good hotels at the sites where tourists can lodge.

“Provision of these social amenities will draw tourists to these sites apart from developing such local communities,’’ he said.

Oluwafunso said that to give tourism a facelift, tourism investors should use famous Nigerians as their brands to market their products.

“Famous Nigerians should be made tourism ambassadors and the face of tourism products for marketing.

“This will promote such products in the international market,” the consultant said.

According to him, such ambassadors can cut across all sectors that can include popular sportsmen and women.





Oluwafunso said that travelling agents and the media had a lot of packaging to do to promote the industry.

He also suggested a synergy between travelling agents and the various agencies of government saddled with tourism development to provide social amenities at tourist sites in rural areas.

“The agents and the authorities should make use of bill boards, fliers, pamphlets and booklets containing required information on various tourist sites in the country.

“These can be distributed to tourists at the country’s various entry points, including the airports, seaports and the borders,’’ he said.

The consultant urged the media to always portray the positive image of the country to the outside world, so that tourists would not be deterred from coming into the country.