The President of La Campagne Tropical Beach Resort, Wale Akinboboye, has said that Nigeria’s tourism sector currently has no economic value until they are made destinations where tourist can spend all the money in their pocket.
The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation said the country’s tourism sector holds a $4bn domestic market, while the diaspora market is $3bn.
But the market is yet to be explored by players in the Nigerian tourism market.
Nigerian experts have blamed lack of political will as a major setback for the multi-billion-naira industry.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is searching for dollars by any means to boost forex supply and defend the naira.
Akinboboye said, “I think our biggest problem is that we are focusing a lot on attractions. Now attractions don’t translate into any form of economic activity. It has very little value.
“If you attract people to a particular location and they are looking for a place to sleep, to eat, entertainment and what they can enjoy around your attraction, how they can take the water from the hairspring and transform it into maybe a spar where they can sit in a spar and enjoy that particular attraction, any amount of money they bring to that attraction, they take back.
“If they have $5,000 to $10,000 in their pocket, or maybe half a million dollar in their pocket, they take it back, because there is really nothing to do there. They spend like one hour and they get into their cars and they go back.
“Until you transform an attraction into a destination, you don’t make any form of revenue.
“We spend too much energy, too much time talking about attractions. We are not talking about transformation of those attractions into destinations where people can come and enjoy and benefit from that attraction.”
For Akinboboye, Nigerians need to think towards transforming the tourist sites across Nigeria to destinations.
“We have the major opportunity here. This is the best time to develop our domestic tourism. The distraction of Dubai, distraction of the United States of America, Britain, Europe and Asia, I think without any much, I think this is the time that domestic tourism can be developed,” he said.