FTAN identifies bane of tourism sector

Whatapp News

ABUJA – Chief Tomi Akingbogun, President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), on Tuesday identified some challenges inhibiting the growth of the sector.
Akingbogun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the tourism sector had no enabling environment due to near collapse of public infrastructure in the country.
He listed some of the collapsed infrastructure to include electricity, water supply, rail transport and the absence of good roads across the country.
Akingbogun said the absence of a national carrier was also a setback to the sector, adding that lack of investment by government in key travel and tourism projects was another major contributory factor.
“It is unthinkable that with almost 170 million people, Nigeria still relies on foreign airlines to service its international routes, a situation that made a visit to Nigeria very expensive and globally uncompetitive.
“Multiplicity of taxes by various levels of governments and agencies coupled with complexity of payment methods are major impediments of the industry.
“Nigeria has been tagged one of the most difficult countries in the world in tax payment process.
“Recently the country is ranked 131 out of 141 countries in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index Ranking 2015,’’ he said.
Akingbogun said tourism attractions were budgeted for annually, yet there was no obvious improvement.
“The museums are inadequate, and where available, are poorly managed with many valuable artifacts stolen and replaced with fake copies.
“National Parks, Zoological and Botanical gardens are non-existence, and where available, are abused or abandoned.
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“Sports Tourism is non-existence with our stadia lying fallow and in state of disrepair; Nigerian tourism products like culture and its related products, festivals and heritage sites, are poorly marketed.
“The nation’s entire domestic tourism is almost extinct,’’ he said.
Akingbogun called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revive the sector through deliberate policies and investment in the sector. (NAN)
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