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Destination branding… NTDC DG seeks support of tourism journalists


Tourists at the Badagry Slave Route, Lagos.

In line with the government’s resolve to promote tourism in Nigeria, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Folarin – Coker, has pledged the commitment of the corporation in working with the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Travel (ANJET) in the marketing of Nigeria tourism, even as the association offered the support of its platform in the pursuit of the aspirations of the agency.

Folarin – Coker stated this when a delegation of travel journalists in Nigeria presented him with a 13-point agenda in his Abuja office during a courtesy visit to the newly appointed DG. He further noted that modalities of marketing Nigerian destinations have gone beyond traditional brochures, flyers, leaflets to the online technology.

According to the DG, marketing of Nigerian tourism is better driven via the platform of new technologies provided by the social media, which he noted, has the capacity of reaching millions in one single message, hence his resolve to leverage on it to promote and market the country’s attractions.

“We have to accept that the dynamics of tourism marketing has changed and then proceed to embrace it. In the same manner, we also need to identify our key products in comparative terms now. What do we have that others don’t have? That is what we have to identify and market,” he said.

Folarin – Coker also revealed parts of his blueprint for the industry, which included prioritising the growth and development of the domestic industry.

“Right now, our entertainment and hospitality have become our selling point, and with that we identity our niche market and age bracket of that market; our fashion and films are already known all over the world. We need to key into these markets and identify the segment of the society shopping in that market.”

The focus, the DG said, “will be the development of the domestic industry, which sustainable and which if properly done, will drive the international market for us. If we are able to get it right then the international segment will naturally take care of itself. We have to start from home,” said Coker.

The DG, who promised to study with his management team the 13-point agenda presented to him by ANJET, described the journalists as ambassadors of Nigeria tourism, who have the capacity to make or mar any attempt at repositioning the industry.

“For you the journalist, you are the ambassadors of Nigeria tourism, so for that we must reach a pact to safeguard our products and objectively point out the way forward. This is so because, in this digital age, your words carry effect and reach to influence opinions and viewpoints around the world.”

Earlier, the writers in a presentation read by leader of the delegation, Andrew Okungbowa, had charged the DG to among other things, restructure the corporation, create a model for Nigeria tourism, restructure and repackage some of the country’s tourism products. The group also charged the DG to evolve a tourism plan of action, improve on data collection, produce a workable tourism calendar, liaise with relevant stakeholders and governments at all levels to grow the domestic brand, as well as restructure domestic tourism.

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