Suleiman Identifies Infrastructure, Positive Narratives as Key to Nigeria’s Tourism Industry Growth

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Limited, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman has identified the need to fix infrastructure, promote positive narratives about Nigeria and advocacy by stakeholders as critical factors necessary for propelling the growth of Nigeria’s tourism industry.

Mr. Suleiman made these remarks during Sterling Bank’s observance of World Tourism Day in Lagos over the weekend, held under the theme “Tourism and Green Investments.”

In his assessment, Suleiman identified three primary impediments hindering the advancement of Nigeria’s tourism sector. Firstly, he stressed that individuals interested in travelling for tourism must have essential amenities readily available. Secondly, he emphasised the importance of safeguarding tourists from any imperfections or deficiencies while simultaneously exposing them to inspiring aspects of the country. Lastly, he highlighted the critical role of stakeholders in advocating for an enabling environment for the tourism industry.

He said, “The way we portray our homeland is a powerful tool and the moment we begin highlighting its positive attributes, tourists will be more inclined to visit.”

Suleiman also stressed the necessity of comprehensive discussions among trusted parties to curate the entire journey for tourists, from the moment they search for Nigeria on Google to their experiences at renowned destinations like Nike Arts Gallery and Olumo Rock.

In addition to Suleiman’s insights, Mrs. Toke Benson, Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State, expressed her commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to bolster the tourism sector in Lagos.

She underscored the importance of promoting Nigeria’s numerous tourist assets, noting that the country possesses more attractions than some other nations. She expressed hope that Lagos would soon gain global recognition on platforms like CNN, showcasing its rich cultural heritage, music, people and delectable cuisine, which she deemed incomparable.

Rt. Hon. Adewale Egbedu, Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, echoed a similar sentiment, affirming the state government’s readiness to partner with the private sector to harness the full potential of its tourism industry.

He highlighted Osun State’s status as home to some of Nigeria’s most captivating tourist sites. The Speaker pledged to conduct rigorous oversight of the state’s major tourist destinations and collaborate with the private sector to achieve desired outcomes in both the tourism and creative sectors.

Furthermore, he encouraged private sector entities to engage with the legislature to establish relevant legal and institutional frameworks that would facilitate the execution of their ideas and initiatives, ultimately contributing to a better understanding of the societies and communities in which they operate.

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