Nigeria has a lot to showcase to the world.
The president, Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday night launched a new “tourism identity” as part of efforts to develop the tourism sector and diversify the nation’s revenue sources.
The new identity, Fascinating Nigeria, was unveiled at a dinner held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, organised to showcase the country’s rich tourism and cultural potentials.
The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, said the tourism sector, if properly harnessed, would generate income and attract investment to drive the country’s economy.
He revealed that the Federal Government has placed greater emphasis on creating an enabling environment for harnessing the country’s vast tourism potentials and resources and subsequently increased the budget of the Ministry of Tourism.
“This is because tourism, another huge revenue source is a means by which potentialities shall create employment and wealth for our teeming Nigerian youths,’’ Mr. Sambo said on behalf of the president.
He noted that a brand identity with a strong marketing campaign which would have an emphasis on media and tour operator familiarization visits will go a long way in projecting Nigeria to the world.
“The cultural diversity, historic sites and slave routes together with the large Diaspora population provides an opportunity for success when packaged with festivals and events for presentation to the international and regional tour operators,” he added.
Mr. Jonathan further observed that the choice of ‘Fascinating Nigeria’ as the nation’s tourism brand identity was far-reaching as it represented the nation warmth, nature and rhythm.
“It is a testament to the richness of our land, embodying culture, growth and diversity.”
According to the President, Nigeria has a lot to showcase to the world.
“Our movie industry is second in the world only after Hollywood, our football team is the reigning African Champions, our festivals are unrivaled on the African continent and our music is reigning supreme globally. We are ranked as one of the best places to do business and we are one of the fastest growing economies and an investment destination,” he said.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, said tourism sector in 2012 had contributed three percent to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and 2.6 percent of total employment, making the sector second to oil and gas.
The event, which ended up with a night party, witnessed cultural displays and entertainment from the heterogeneous cultural diversity in Nigeria.