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Renovate Nigerian tourism sites, hoteliers tell FG

Dewald Kruger, General Manager, The Envoy Hotel, during the online webinar

The General Manager, The Envoy Hotel, Dewald Kruger joined other stakeholders in the hotel industry to call on the Federal Government to renovate some of the nation’s tourism sites which were in deplorable condition.

Kruger made the call during a webinar organised by the Nigeria Travel Week and Travelscope Magazine.

The theme of the programme was: `A Fresh Start for Tourism’.

He said that as an hotelier operating in Nigeria, there were lots of tourism attractions which he could not introduce to tourists due to the state of the sites.

He advised that these sites be put in proper state before the total relaxation of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown to reposition the tourism industry.

“The nation has beautiful sites which are not well maintained.

“I have been able to explore the Sani Abacha Fish Market in Abuja, Freedom park in Lagos where we can easily have access to local drinks like palm wine, Kunu drink and suya.

“Kalakuta shrine is also another site that must be properly preserved because visitors are actually looking out for the authentic experience,” he said.

Kruger advised hoteliers to engage the use of feedback system from their clients which would enable them make general assessment of their services to make improvements.

Tunde Oduyoye, General Manager, L’eola Hotel, also laid emphasis on the significance of renovating the tourism sites and creating adequate awareness of the existence of such sites.

Oduyoye said that for the tourism industry to be rightly positioned, there must be an immediate collaboration of various practitioners in the industry to design strategies toward developing the industry.

“Our tourism sites must be made presentable to local and foreign tourists. Likewise we need collaborations among hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, tour guides and even government.

“Government has a lot to do in promoting tourism. The collaboration is needed to put things in proper state,” he said.

Aisha Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of Hayche Network, urged practitioners in the tourism sector to re-innovate themselves and their businesses as COVID-19 ravaged the world.

Yusuf advised the practitioners to focus more on marketing experiences that could be achieved in visiting the tourism sites.

“A mindset of springing up innovations will sustain the industry at this critical time. I advise everyone to stay safe in view of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Abiola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director, SJ Tours, said the nation had everything it took to thrive well and compete favourably with other climes, considering its huge population of over 200 million people.

“We have the population to grow tourism. We need to abide by the rule of making progress in the industry which warrants us to increase attracting and welcoming tourists while we minimise Nigerians going out on leisure.

“This is the only way we can control the foreign exchange while we develop our economy as a country,” she said. (NAN)

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