Tour operators in Nigeria need FG’s urgent intervention to remain in business —NATOP President

The national president, Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, has urged the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the prevailing COVID-19 situation affecting tour operators in Nigeria to enable them to remain in business.

Hajia Abdul, who made this request during a courtesy call on Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunso Coker, said the meeting has become very important following the business trauma that has put members activities on hold for over a year as well as to discuss the way forward for the drivers of the industry.

She emphasised the present predicament of her members in the face of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that most of her members have not been able to recover from the effect of the pandemic since its emergence in March 2020.

She explained that her main concern is that the government is not paying any attention to the problem facing her members, saying that they are not different from other sister sectors and associations have started benefitting from various stimulus packages.

She, therefore, called on the DG of NTDC, being the agency saddled with the responsibility of developing the tourism industry, to find a way of assisting tour operators through the stimulation of tourism activities across the country.

“When this is done, tour operators can easily package tours to different fascinating destinations in the country as well as creating events,” she said.

In his response, the NTDC boss who appreciated the national president of NATOP for finding time to visit him, assured her that the door is always open for both her and her members, adding that NTDC is working round the clock to ensure that the tourism sector does not collapse in the face of the pandemic.

He reiterated that very soon all the efforts of the corporation will be felt by stakeholders, adding that part of the strategies is to sensitise the states to the need to develop the tourism potential in their domain.

Coker explained that the corporation is already partnering with over 20 states of the federation and other corporate bodies and agencies to ensure that the industry is developed.

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