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Develop exciting brand for Nigeria, Ooni tasks NATOP

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi

As part of efforts selling the brand Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has tasked members of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), to come out with an exciting branding copy strong enough to sell the country as a desirable tourism destination to the world.

The Ooni made the call while receiving the NATOP President, Hajia Billy Abdul and Chief Operating Officer, Bboog Travels & Tours, Bilkisu Abdulsalam, in his palace. He disclosed that NATOP is the torchbearer of the Nigerian tourism sector and by that nature, it must be awake, alive and proactive.

He said, “the branding of Nigeria as a tourist destination of choice can only be done successfully if your members can realise the essential roles their professional accomplishments are meant to play in the global chain of tourism economy. NATOP is an integral part of the tourism sector which relevance and essence cannot be relegated to the background if the nation earnestly desires to reap the fruits of the tourism sector.

“In ascending this status, your members must gird their loins and play the necessary roles within the context of national development via tourism. There is no other group, which has the professional potency and leverage to lure, persuade, convince and attract tourists to Nigeria,” the Ooni added.

The monarch noted that as a body of thoroughbred professional tour managers and administrators, NATOP has a responsibility to craft an appealing brand concept that could arrest the attention and ignite the passion in people to visit and tour Nigeria.

“Your association has the onerous responsibility to sell Nigeria, first to Nigerians, and then to the whole world. It is your duties and means of survival. Thus, the way you brand Nigeria will determine the volume of tourism traffic to Nigeria,” he stated.

He commended the NATOP president, for her drive at ensuring that the association’s activities and programmes are not restricted to the urban centre. “I am particularly glad that since you became the NATOP president, you have demonstrated a nationalistic fervor in your modus operandi at spreading the activities of NATOP.

“I monitored your election in Jos and the roadshow which NATOP organised to restore the confidence of people in Jos as a state of peace and tourism, your visit to Ife and your proposed visit to the remaining part of Nigeria is an attestation to your vision of building a virile, viable, relevant and national association which brands Nigeria as an entity to the world.”

The Ooni assured the association of his royal support, saying: “It is gratifying to know that the association will hold its Pre-AGM in Ile-Ife. This is another demonstration of a nationalistic behaviour. Your association act will also expose your members to the multifarious tourism properties and business in this part of the country and particularly in Ile Ife.”


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