The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe on Wednesday called on governments at all levels to develop the tourism sites in their domain to international standard.
Runsewe said this on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said that this would bring in foreign exchange to the country thereby increase revenue generation.
According to him, “tourism is 30 per cent domestic, 70 per cent international; we can achieve this if our tourism sites are of international standard.’’
“So I urged all tourism stakeholders’ especially state governors to ensure that all sites are of international standard. The more foreign influx we attract, the more foreign exchange we get,’’ he said.
Runsewe said that this would bring sustainable development and economic benefits.
The DG who cited few examples said: “In Dubai, domestic tourism has contributed a lot to the development of their economy; they are not developing their tourism sites for their people but for foreigners that will bring in dollars.
“They built towers for tourists from other countries who will bring money to their economy but here, we seemed not to understand the word tourism,” he said.
Runsewe said that there would be needs to invest and make our tourist sites attractive in order to attract foreign tourists.
He said that tourism has been an important sector, contributing significantly to the economies of many countries around the world.
“Apart from its capacity to create jobs, reduce poverty, and foster human development and environmental sustainability, tourism benefits a country in a greater number of ways and brings immense opportunities for an all-inclusive growth.
“Domestic tourism operates on its own, Nelson Mandela house in South Africa attracts over a lot of tourists and people pay to go there.
“We have similar sites in Nigeria that we can develop to attract foreign tourist that will earn us dollar.
The director frowned at the level of decay in our culture and National heritages, saying that if we do not appreciate and harness the tourism endowments in the country, those opportunities would remain untapped.
“Until this is achieved, economic fortunes cannot be boosted,” he added. (NAN)
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