Skal rallies govt, stakeholders to Nigeria’s tourism potential
The newly-appointed National President of Skal International (Nigeria), Daisi Olotu, has highlighted the nation’s enormous tourism potential as a good substitute for oil in the national economy.
Olotu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Dees Travels and Tours Limited, said a renewed commitment to the “potential goldmine” and support from Skal members could help market Nigeria as one of the leading tourists’ destinations in the world.
He noted that global tourism is bigger than the oil economy, yet most sustainable than oil.
Olotu said: “What if the oil dries up in Nigeria today? We have to look at tourism as an oil substitute, which nobody is looking at presently. The government must look into this seriously. There must be a conscious effort to invest massively in tourism.
“Dubai is a case of how to grow tourism. Nigeria assisted the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at inception with funds but look at Dubai today, where the UAE can tell us to our faces that they want to cancel flights to Nigeria. They are simply telling us that we do not value what we have.
“This country is bigger than Dubai in terms of tourism, human capital, name it. Why can’t we dwell on that and use it to our advantage? If we start massively on tourism, another boom is coming for the country. We must see the opportunities and work to improve other sectors. We are ready to work with people in government to achieve tourism growth,” he pledged.
Olotu reiterated that the sheer strength of Skal’s over 22, 000 members worldwide and the burgeoning membership in Nigeria could help market local tourism to the world, more than any means or channel.
“If we start with the Africa Area Committee congress, key industry players within Africa will gather in Nigeria to have firsthand experience of the country’s tourism culture, thereby, bringing about positive publicity and increase in revenue, not to mention the impact on our economy if Nigeria could host over 5,000 people during the World Congress.
“They have done it in Mexico, USA, China, South Africa, Kenya, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand to mention a few. The impact cannot be overemphasized. I was privileged to be part of the club and one of the representatives from Nigeria to attend these congresses and I have seen what hosting a world congress did to the economy of these countries and the tourism industry as a whole”, he added.
Olotu will be inaugurated alongside his executives on February 11, 2022, to oversee the activities of the club in Nigeria. Skal International is the only organisation that brings together all levels of industry practitioners in travel and tourism.
Consisting of senior members and professionals of the tourism industry, Skal is an international non-governmental organisation with over 22,000 members, 500 clubs in 87 countries worldwide, which are connected to the Headquarters of Skal International in Torremolinos, Spain.