Use tourism to boost economy -Expert

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Tourist Site _ Olumo Rock
Tourist Site _ Olumo Rock

By Idris Olukoya

Mr Ini Akpabio, a tourism and hospitality expert has urged the Federal Government to explore potential in the tourism sector as part of efforts to bring the nation out of recession.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that tourism assets, if properly utilised could be used to get the country out of its present situation.

Akpabio, who is also the Group Managing Director of NANEt Hotel and Suits, added that the potential in the sector was huge enough to improve the challenges presently confronting the nation.

He urged the government to get its priority right by maintaining a clear vision, noting that the sector was viable enough to help out.

“Without a vision, there won’t be a mission, the vision is what will drive the government to determine its mission and agenda for the country.

“Investment and promotion of tourism assets and products should be the mission of the government to achieve its vision for the country.

“With aggressive publicity and promotion of tourism assets and potential, the economy will find its right place due to several investment opportunities in the sector,’’ he said.

Akpabio, however, appealed to the government to also look into other sectors like agriculture, health and sports to improve the economy.

He listed some of the viable potential in the industry to include eco, aqua, agro, education and medical tourism, adding that if well utilised would fetch the country huge revenue.

Akpabio also said that there was the need for the government to upgrade the road network, tourism facilities and build world class exhibition centre that could accommodate 30,000 exhibitors.

According to him, if necessary facilities are considered and put in place, the sector would generate employment, boost the nation’s revenue as well as increase foreign exchange earnings. 

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