Experts call for upgrading of tourist sites to speed development in 2017

Stakeholders in the tourism industry, have called on the Federal Government to upgrade the nation’s tourist attractions for the speedy development of the sector in 2017.

The stakeholders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Lagos that the improvement would go a long way to lure more tourists and investors both locally and internationally.

They noted that most of the heritage sites were moribund and needed government urgent attention to save them from collapse.

Mr Ini Akpabio, the Group Managing Director, NANET Hotel and Suites, urged the government to be more proactive on issues concerning the sector in 2017.

He, however, called for the appointment of professionals to effectively manage the sector.

“The sector can only develop and thrive, if the right people are appointed into the right positions.

“The tourism change agenda in 2017 can only be implemented and achieved, if government works with the professionals in the industry and shuns sentiments,’’ he said.

Akpabio attributed poor administration to the causes of major setback in the industry, while calling on the government to handover the management of tourists sites to professionals.

“The private investors will manage it beyond government expectations and there will be payment of taxes and other revenues from the private investors to government coffers,” he said.

Mr Ayo Olowoporoku, the Group Managing Director, Hotel Supports Ltd., called for effective management of the sector to drive national development.

According to Olowoporoku, the government should set the standards that would enable indigenous tourist operators to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.

“There are several historical centres of attractions that can fetch government billions of naira but due to negligence, they are not yielding anything positive.

“One thing is for government to know the conditions of all these heritage sites, another thing is to put them in order,’’ another stakeholder, Mr Ayo Olumoko said. (NAN)

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