Following the recent opening of NTDC Tourism Information desk in Kano and Calabar, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has added Enugu amongst the list of States where it has tourism information desks.
Speaking at the opening of the NTDC’s Tourism Information desk in Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, the Director General of NTDC, Mrs. Sally Uwechue Mbanefo said that tourism is the greatest employer of labour which contributes about 9.3% to the global GDP with the Gambia contributing 17.7%%, Egypt 13%, South Africa 9%, Mexico 11.9%, Kenya 12%, Brazil 7.8%, Cuba 6% and Nigeria 4%, stressing that tourism development remains relevant and important in the economy building of any nation in the world.
In her speech, she explained that the NTDC’s information desk is part of the Corporation’s effort towards promoting domestic tourism. She recalled that the Corporation’s collaboration with Viko Group of Companies Limited had earlier commissioned four information desks at major airports in the country such as Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Calabar and now Enugu. She also noted that Enugu State is one of the tourism friendly states and a major tourism hub in Nigeria
“Enugu State is a place to visit and a destination of choice for tourists of various inclinations, Enugu and Nsukka towns present tourism infrastructure for cultural, eco-tourism, sporting, business and conferences. The following facilities are prominent; The Nike lake Resort, Enugu Polo Amusement Parks, Enugu Zoological Garden, Nsukka Zoological Garden, Hotel Presidential, Ezeagu Tourist Complex, Dugudu Lakes and Ajali Owa sandy Stream among others”. She said.
She asserts, “Nigeria has been solely dependent on the oil sector for many years. Nigerians are not encouraged to visit the various attractions from North to south, East to West to experience what God Almighty has endowed Nigerians with and we want Nigerians to take their life styles seriously, knowing that one’s health depends on leisure which is part of Tourism which is one of the things that promotes longevity of life”, “Tourism is sustainable and a necessity in economy building and not a luxury”, she added.
Mrs. Mbanefo however called for higher support from both private and government to promote domestic tourism activities in Nigeria in order to move away from total dependence on oil and create jobs for the teeming youth, allievate poverty and reduce urban migration.
Addressing the top government officials, traditional rulers and the press men earlier, Mr. Lucky Kanu, CEO of Viko Group of Companies said “This information desk features a travel information portal for tourists with information on the aviation industry, ‘real time’ flight information can be personalized with alarm sent to customers phones as reminders of their scheduled flight time”
Mr. Kanu further said that the portal is opened to provide information about attractions in Nigeria that are not known to tourists. “We are promoting domestic tourism in the country in order to increase revenue generation for the country, opening for job opportunities for our teemin unemployed yout”, he said.
The Viko Group of Company Nigeria Limited boss expressed his willingness and determination to collaborate with the NTDC to create job opportunities and will work on the existing partnership with NTDC to open more information desks in all major airports in Nigeria. However, he said, “Passengers can browse for free and view tourists sites, tourists activities, products, hotels, car hire services, events and festivals. Also they can make enquiries and book excursion trips to schools and holiday sightseeing within the country at no cost at all”.
The manager of the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, Mr. Mgbemene Ijiako was impressed by the synergy between NTDC and Viko Limited which has resulted to the establishment of the NTDC Information desk in Enugu International Airport, Enugu StateHe said, “On behalf of the federal republic of Nigeria, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, I commission this Tourism Information desk to the glory of God.”