The role of the media in promoting and marketing brand Nigeria tourism is yet to be properly appreciated, according to the Acting Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Momoh Kabir.
This is just as some industry practitioners have again called for the establishment of a ministry of Tourism to harness the potential of the subsector, in the light of the Federal Government’s move towards a paradigm shift from crude oil to tourism in revenue generation.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of a four-day training programme organized by NIHOTOUR, in collaboration with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), and the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Momoh, said the task of marketing the destination Nigeria lies strongly with tourism writers and as such emphasis should be placed on improving capacity in the field.
According to Momoh, this explains the decision of his agency to collaborate with others in the ministry of Information and Culture to organize the training programme for tourism writers in the country.
“Any step to growing the brand in terms of marketing and promotion should begin with building capacity of practitioners in the media industry who essentially report the industry.
“And this basically informed our decision to enter into this collaborative effort with our sister agencies towards staging this programme for tourism writers under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), said Momoh.
In his goodwill message at the occasion, president of the Federation of Tourism Associations in Nigeria (FTAN), Saleh Rabo, reiterated the call for the creation of an exclusive ministry for tourism by the federal government as this, he said, would fully exploit the full potential of the subsector.
“If government now says that it is is looking to replace oil with tourism, that move should be complemented by first establishing a separate ministry of Tourism, instead of the present arrangement where tourism is squeezed into a ministry of Information and Culture.
Representatives of the directors general of NTDC, NCAC, who spoke at the event also called for attention to capacity building for media practitioners in the tourism subsector in order to grow the brand Nigeria tourism.