Travel

NTDC launches ‘Tour Nigeria’ Bus Tour

 It rained all through the week and the nerves of the commercial center of excellence was flooded. Palpable fear seized the hearts of travel writers covering the much-talked about launch of the Tour Nigeria bus tour, the flagship of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Domestic Tourism campaign.
 
Such fear was however unfounded as all went well with the change of venue from Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), Chevron, Lekki to the Lagos Motor Boat club, Awolowo road, SW Ikoyi despite the rain, traffic gridlock and flood. Director General, NTDC, Folorunsho Coker  interacted freely with  journalists and had a robust chat before the formal launch of ‘Tour Nigeria‘ at its second press conference, the first being in Abuja last Friday.
 
Domestic Tourism has definitely taken a new turn with Coker at the helm of NTDC. The domestic tourism campaign is bigger and better than ever under the ‘CHIEF’ Plan, an acronym for a tourism development roadmap with short, medium and long-term objectives. Basically, it consists of a 5-point action plan that aims to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria. The concept of ‘CHIEF’ gives citizens and stakeholders an opportunity to experience local tourist sites, attractions and events as an alternative to vacationing overseas.
 
‘CHIEF’ seeks to introduce global best practice for the tourism industy, encourage human capital and infrastructural development, also aimed at promoting and protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, while also pursuing funding for capital projects in the tourism sector.
 
Coker at the interactive session itemized ‘CHIEF’ plan as C for Corporate governance and regulations, H for Human capital Development, I for Infrastructural development, E for Events and marketing and F for Finance and investments.
 
He said that the brand was an ambitious attempt at promoting tourism in Nigeria.
 
“It will showcase the vibrant and friendly energies of Nigerians through different creative expressions”.
 
“It will also leverage on our abundant power to celebrate our heritage, promote our natural and cultural tourism assets, destinations and people.”
 
Coker said that part of his mandate as the DG of NTDC was to reverse the negative impressions in the minds of the public about Nigerian tourism.
 
It is also to galvanise commercial tourism, promote Nigeria’s diverse multicultural heritage, he said.
 
He listed others to include evolving new channels of tourism markets whilst promoting Nigeria in a positive light and shaping a positive perception of its citizens.
 
He added that the brand would leverage on the best of Nigeria.
 
“Nigerians are known to be intelligent and hardworking people. We are also known for our “can-do” and “never-say-never” attitudes, which are complemented by our friendly and accommodating spirits.
 
“We are proudly the most populous black nation on earth; home to the second largest film industry on the globe whilst also being the fashion, technological and creative hub of Africa,” Coker said.
 
Coker said that in line with the corporation’s agenda to promote domestic and regional tourism, the ‘Tour Nigeria’ brand was conceived to drive domestic consumption of our tourism assets and products.
 
It would also add to the nation’s GDP, create employment, and increase spending in the economy.
 
The ‘Tour Nigeria’ campaign is not a ‘one-off’ campaign but part of a more holistic promotional approach to develop community clusters and to help identify events and festivals, that when put together provide our visitors and citizens with authentic and memorable experiences. The key components to tourism are travel, accommodation and entertainment/hospitality. They would be explored with airlines, hotels, car hire services, tour operators and others to bring about affordable package tours to encourage Nigerians to tour Nigeria.
 
To create further public awareness for the brand, the corporation will embark on a ‘Tour Nigeria’ Bus Tour from the first week of August. The itinerary will take us across the six geopolitical zones of the country. The brand launch is the first of a series of monthly events to promote the best of Nigeria. Other events are scheduled to take place across the Federation and it will peak with the year ending – ‘’Countdown Nigeria’’ celebration.
 
Amidst good ambience, tasty meals and choice drinks, Coker expressed pleasure that “Tour Nigeria initiative has come to fruition as a result of cooperation amongst a host of tourism players. The thrust is to develop locals’ appreciation for the domestic tourism product and at the same time, improving their sense of pride in this beautiful country we inhabit.”
 
The tourism boss speaking further, ‘we have designed and populated our calendar of events with unique festivals and events that cut across the various entertainment channels of food, music, sports, religion, fashion and cultural festivals. Activities to herald the event have commenced and the official launch will take place on July 29th. Let us partner in redefining Nigeria as the heartbeat of Africa,’ he said.

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