Mr Anago Osho, a Tour Guide, on Thursday advised Nigerian tourism practitioners to focus more on the promotion of domestic tourism to chart a new course for the industry in post-COVID-19 period.
Osho gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that it was time for the practitioners to think outside the box on how the tourism industry could be revitalised.
He said though this had been ongoing before now but there was need for the effort to be improved on, saying that by the time COVID-19 subsided, tourists would still be afraid of international travels.
Osho said that before now, the focus had been more on outbound tourism.
“To chart a new course for the tourism industry, considering the negative impact caused by COVID-19 pandemic, tourism practitioners must look inwards and begin an aggressive marketing of nation’s tourism sites.
“This should be done as soon as COVID-19 gradually ease in Nigeria. We have beautiful tourist sites capable of generating huge revenue for individual practitioners and government.
“Tourism practitioners should re-orientate citizens by showcasing the beautiful heritage and tourism sites around the country to encourage them visit those sites.
“We must work more on creative domestic tourism promotion because that is where patronage lies for the sector now,” he said.
Osho advised owners of tourist sites like museums, parks, zoos, art galleries, cinemas, beaches, monumental sites and resort, among others, to encourage tourists to visit without charging normal fees for a period of three months.
He said rather than collecting any fee, they could request for voluntary donations from tourists for the upkeep of the business and staff.
He also suggested that sensitisation and creative events could be organised at tourists’ sites or venues close to them to draw people’s attention to the reopening of tourism activities.
“To encourage patronage of tourism outfits, tourism practitioners should consider people’s financial stand which may minimise visitors’ patronage,’’ Osho said.