There are many ways to boost domestic tourism – Coker
…to repackage Oct. 1 celebration
ABUJA – The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Coker has said that there are many ways to promote tourism sector with little government resources through collaboration of public and private sectors.
To this end, he said they are working assiduously to ensure a complete repackage of the October 1 Independent Day Celebration to boost domestic tourism in the country.
Coker stated this at Delphino Picnic tagged; ‘Spreading Happiness’, organised in collaboration with the NTDC, in Abuja.
The Berger Shooting Range close to Jabi Lake (venue of the picnic), which had been all this while an exclusive of the ‘high class people’ in Abuja, came alive as social class that had been the barrier of accessing the park was stripped just with N2000 gate fees.
Music of various lyrics, sports and other extracurricular activities were at different spots going on at the park that was filled to its capacity with both old and young, enjoying different side attractions, as security of the park was never a concern.
The DG, who spoke to Journalists in an ecstatic mood, suggested that having something like Independence Picnic going on simultaneously in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be a fantastic concept.
“October 1, for instance, what do we do? We have a (military) parade on the day we are celebrating our independency. Now, national day celebration, it is a time, this kind of event should happen in every state, every local government area in Nigeria. No matter how bad it is, there is a reason (for us) to celebrate,” he said.
The DG said the idea would be achieved by “bringing different assets together; music, sports, vendors, stage performance, lights, events planners, etc. it is not something that NTDC must do it, the state government can do it, the local government can do it, anybody can connect to these new values we have, in terms of our cultural heritage, sport, among others.”
Coker maintained that government at the state and local government levels did not need to panic over the paucity of funds, but should rather approach the private sector for partnership to boost the tourism sector at their various levels.
“Do you see any government money here? Nobody is asking state government to spend government money in doing this. What you see here is a government brand ‘Tour Nigeria’ that is promoting domestic tourism that is asking people to come out for their own and have fun together.
“This is about a private sector in partnership with government, driving the consumption of our tourism assets, not about spending government resources,” the DG clarified.
NTDC Boss explained that the Delphino Picnic had been on in Abuja, and that, the corporation just partner with the company to promote domestic tourism in the nation’s capital. “It is just people coming together in public space to enjoy what is abundance in Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Delphino Entertainment, Onoja Adole said the event was part of their token to resuscitate domestic tourism in the nation’s capital through entertainment.