‘Nigerians Should Opt More for Domestic Tourism’

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IN bid to encourage the Indulgence of Nigerians in the nation’s vast tourist attractions, DG, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), SallyMbanefo implores Nigerians on the interesting benefits and experience-rich attractions available in the country. Encouraging vacation seekers to look inwards, rather than seek adventure elsewhere – especially internationally – Sally maintains that the nation itself is abound with varied exotic experiences with localfineries beyond afore perceived view of itslimitedness. Meaning for careful consideration, she expanded on her urge for inwards exploration of Nigeria’s tourism resources, insisting that there is so much of the nation’s beauty unexplored by even Nigerians themselves.Clarifying on the issue, she recently in Abuja, spoke to The Guardian on the need to promote domestic tourism and indigenous tourism trends of travel, culture, tradition and the explorative indulgences of domestic exoticness.

“Nigerians should travel within Nigeria; we should vacate more within Nigeria. Besides the fact that only a few percentage of Nigerians can afford to go on vacations outside the country, Nigeria is rich in places for vacation and adventure. It is called domestic tourism”, she said.

“The tourism value chain is where everything touches tourism. Where people leave their house and get around through routines everyday or every other day; that is transportation and oil and gas related, where the car is fuelled and the road is utilised – linking up with tourism. When you order food at an eatery or purchase food items at stores, the agriculture sector and markets are there engaged – where various areas of food sources within the nation serve its people. The government has provided an enabling environment for the appreciation of tourism. We need to get around more and experienced other cultures, we are very rich in culture and we have festivals that are unique to us as a people as we as a people are unique indeed”, Sally added.

Imploring Nigerians to visit more states besides their indigenous zones, she encouraged explorations and visits suggesting neighbouring states as start.

“Within one year, I have travelled around Nigeria, covering nineteen states so far as I continue to cover more. I have been to the North-Central, North-East, North-West, South-South, South-West and I have been to the South-East and have experienced beautiful tourism sites here.

would encourage everyone, wherever you are, you can contact the NTDC for information where you may need to help you get around. We have offices around Nigeria and if you like, we can show you around and help inform you of the various tourism sites and festivals in Nigeria”, she also added.

Tourism in Nigeria has indeed expanded so to speak with various celebrations in carnivals and the unique indigenous festivals, which Sally says can be exported beyond Nigerian borders. Nigerian Festivals, she noted, are well appreciated, doting on fascinations attached to African indigenous cultural displays as enjoyed by foreigners and tourist who have had the cultural experience of festivals unique to Nigerians and too other celebrations in Carnivals and Cultural events. Further noting on Nigerian cultural exports, she said:

“There are few exports of indigenous festivals already being celebrated around the world. Sango Festival for example, has been exported to over 40 countries in the world today, celebrated in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and many other countries and in the Diaspora”.

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