The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Sally Uwaechue-Mbanefo has thrown her weight behind the proposal by the Linas International to partner with the corporation for the establishment of a state-of-the-art, 4-in-one tourism project that will turn around Nigerian tourism industry so that it becomes a centre of attraction for Nigerians and beyond.
“We are taking up a 4-in-one tourism project: the ‘Grand Tourism Award’, which will be instituted to honour and encourage outstanding achievement in all areas of the Tourism Value Chain. ‘Culture Village’ will as well be established in every state of the federation at sites that host historic natural monuments.
“Global Road Show’ is also aimed at encouraging tourists’ traffic across and beyond the country, while ‘Host Family Scheme’ will focus on creating a relaxing atmosphere for tourists to feel at home while away from their homes,” the DG stated this while inaugurating the committee that would see to the actualisation of the project in Abuja recently.
Mbanefo stated further that the Project Tourism has fallen in line with the corporation’s mantra of promoting domestic tourism while acknowledging that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has been very practical and supportive “of everything we do to promote domestic tourism.”
She therefore tasked the inaugurated committee members to take the project to their hearts so that, “by the time we finally present the end result to Nigerians there would much applause.”
Mr pointed out that partnering with Linas International will create jobs for Nigerians, because government alone cannot provide jobs for all. She therefore urged private sector to come up with projects that will encourage Nigerians to promote their rich cultural heritage.
In his remark, the Chairman of Linas International Limited, who was represented by Dr Mbanefo Onyeka Nwokolo, expressed optimism that by the time the programme is rolled out, Nigeria would be one of the tourism destinations to look out for whenever one wants to travel for vacation. He said: “Linas International is ready to put its own economic muscle as much as it could to drive this wonderful initiative so as to explore the economic potentials in the tourism industry chiefly because the sector has been scarcely under-explored. “We are really committed to this project that is why we are partnering with NTDC and we are lucky that at this time, NTDC has a director general that shares the same vision and drive towards upholding our domestic tourism potentials.” Nwokolo therefore called on other private sector organisations to come on board and work with the vibrant and energetic Mbanefo as she understands the power of domestic tourism.