BRING TOURISM TO THE FRONT BURNER, BECAUSE IT IS A FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER, Says BIANCA OJUKWU as she launched WEDDING DESTINATION at AKWAABA and talks about tourism

BRING TOURISM TO THE FRONT BURNER, BECAUSE IT IS A FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER, Says BIANCA OJUKWU as she launched WEDDING DESTINATION at AKWAABA and talks about tourism

Her Excellency Bianca Ojukwu, the former High Commissioner to Spain was at Akwaaba to lunch the Wedding Destination, after which she was shown around the Travel Market Exhibition with Ikech Uko, the Chief Organizer accompanied by Stella  Obinwachukwu, the African Regional Marketing Director for Dubai Tourism, who took her around the impressive Dubai grand stand.

After the tour around the stands of various exhibitors, she was engaged in a Questions and Answer session regarding tourism in other countries as compared to Nigeria with security challenges.

In her response she said, “to a large extent, tourism also incorporates the concept of crisis management, it is very important that as a nation we manage this aspect of our tourism, be able to play down on the negative perceptions we have, because many other countries have those negative perception but tend to play that down and bring to the fore the things that are positive about their country”.

Yes we have our security challenges, but it is important to indicate that Nigeria isn’t the only country with security challenges; however there are so many things that are beautiful about this country.

There are so many locations that we have that are breath taking, we also need as a matter of urgency to resuscitate our national carrier, we need to bring tourism to the fore because there are also many issues that sometimes play a negative part in discouraging tourism.

  1. POLICY
  2. INFRASTRUCTURE

You will agree that many people coming into Nigeria believe they are taking a security risk.

To a large extent we need to highlight the things that are great in our nation, our rich heritage and culture, our wonderful hospitality and nice people, because we are a great nation and we should do more to highlight this to the outside world.

When asked if she is concerned or perturbed about the fact that the Ministry of Tourism has been scrapped and is now under a department in the Ministry of Information, as she just returned back to Nigeria from a tourism friendly nation (Spain Precisely) where she was an High Commissioner.

She said

I think in line with the current polices that we now have to minimize and down size the Ministry of Tourism, as now being subsumed under the Ministry of Information and Culture,

I believe that to a large extent it is not giving tourism a ministry that will necessarily make it. The policies that are brought forward by the Government are very effective. It’s the implementation, taking into consideration that for whatever policies, there is need for sustainability.

There is a need to be resilient and I think any ministry is as good as who is behind it. If you have somebody who has a tourism mind-set and an astute administrator who believes tourism should be in the front burner, because tourism is actually one of the veritable platform-levers for economic growth and employment opportunities.

I think we should key into what many other countries are keying into because tourism is a foreign exchange earner. We have been running a mono-economy for so many years; I think trying to harness the opportunities that tourism makes available will help in generating the much needed revenue for this country.

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