By Idris Olukoya
Mr Samuel Alabi, a tourism and hospitality expert, on Tuesday called on state governments to develop their tourism products to attract more local and international tourists.
Alabi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that state governments should identify their products and package them well for the consumptions of local and foreign tourists.
Alabi, who was a former President of Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), said that for tourism to develop, it had to be done from the local to state level.
“Nigeria is too large for the Federal Government only to develop the sector.
“It has to do with collective efforts with state governments to harness the potential in the industry from the grassroots, ” he said.
Alabi said that Nigeria’s situation was not different from other countries but the problem of Nigeria was lack of priority.
“Once Nigerians start to consume their own products, tourism will develop in the country.
“But, once we believe on this wrong notion that we have some foreigners that will come to patronise our tourist destinations, this is where we are getting it wrong,” he said.
He urged each States to develop tourism packages and destinations that would attract both local and foreign tourists to help to boost their economies.
“Each state governments should prepare places where people can come dine and wine.
“We have to redesign our scope, we Nigerians need to cultivate the habit of patronising and consuming our own products first before selling them to foreigners.
Alabi said that the more Nigerians educate themselves in patronising local products, the better for everybody and nation at large.