Association Urges Operators To Woo Foreign Tourists

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The National Coordinator, Ni
gerian Hotels Association (NHA), Mr Lanre Awoseyin, last  Tuesday, urged tour operators to focus more on packaging tourists coming into the country.
Awoseyin told newsmen in an interview in Lagos that tour operators in the country
were known for preparing tickets mostly for out-bound tourists.
According to him, packaging tours to other countries was not beneficial to the country’s economy rather the receiving countries benefit more.
“Tour operators should engage more in the business of packaging tours into the country to develop the country’s domestic tourism, instead of focusing on taking tourists outside the country,’’ Awoseyin said.
He urged tour operators to collaborate with their foreign counterparts to acquire the techniques of luring tourists into the country.
The tourism practitioner, however, said that there were enormous challenges facing the development of domestic tourism in the country.
He said that tour operators would not lure tourists into a country with under-developed infrastructure.
According to him, there is need to develop some neglected tourism sites in the country to bring them to international standards.
Awoseyin urged all tiers of government to develop tourism sites in their areas to enhance development in the sector, noting that “Infrastructure problem is one of the set backs experienced by tour operators.
“Therefore, it is important that government should tackle infrastructure problem to create the enabling environment for the industry to thrive .
“If there are well-developed tourism sites, foreign tourists will be excited to visit sites like the Ogbunike Cave in Anambra and the Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi.
“This will also boost the inflow of foreign exchange for the country,’’ Awoseyin stated.