Tourism Management expert, Mr Habila Kayit, has called for a review of tourism policies in line with global practices to enable the industry thrive.
Kayit, who is Tourism Officer, Abuja Film Village International, made the call in an interview with journalists on Thursday in Abuja.
He spoke on ways to promote the nation’s tourism potentials in line with government goals to diversify the economy.
According to the tourism expert, reviewing the existing policies will increase local and international investment, as well as enable the sector to thrive better in a conducive environment.
“For the tourism industry to function optimally, tourism policies need to be reviewed to be able to accommodate some of the global trends and development in the industry.
“The tourism master plan which was developed in 2006 could not address as well as give a clear direction for practitioners.
“ The government needs to boost investor’s confidence by enacting laws that will be investment friendly,’’ he said.
Kayit stressed the role the tourism industry played in job creation, business opportunities as well as diversifying the nation’s revenue source for both investors and the government.
“Tourism is acknowledged as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industry today. It is also recognised as the major employer of labour worldwide.’’
He urged both private investors and the government to contribute towards promoting the industry as a catalyst for national development.
“The importance of tourism to the national development has been down-played over the years.
“The agencies saddled with the responsibility of marketing and promoting tourism activities should embark on creative marketing campaign.
“Documentaries on the country’s tourism potentials should be made and the main stream, social media, leaflets, pamphlets and other media should used to showcase the industry’s potential.
“These should be made available at strategic places such as airports, embassies, international events among other places.
“The government has to increase its budgetary provision for the tourism industry. Training of tourism practitioners is also a key in raising awareness of the industry.
“There is need for comparative analysis on how other countries’ economies are being sustained using tourism.
“Statistics on the activities of the tourism industry should be used to help take home the importance of the industry to the nation’s economy,’’ the tourism expert stressed.