By Deji Abdulwahab
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has expressed its willingness to partner with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to promote tourism development in the country.
The President of FTAN, Mr Nkerewem Onung, said this on Wednesday when he led the new executive of the association on a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NTDC, Mr Folorunsho Coker, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Onung led-FTAN executive emerged as a result of election held in July 8.
Onung said that the visit was to sustain friendship with the NTDC and seek collaboration in order to achieve the association’s mandate for its members.
The President, who said that the association had finished its Annual General Meeting, said that it was planning tourism summit and other programmes, adding that without the support of NTDC, it could not achieve them.
“We are here to pay a courtesy call on the Director-General of the NTDC for greater collaboration and then we are going to be able to work together.
“It is time now to purify the issue of tourism from the private sector in Nigeria. We are seeing ourselves and NTDC as one; we have commonality of purpose and focus.
“It is time for us to collaborate and develop tourism industry from the point of grassroots, from the local and state governments, a more could be done so that domestic tourism would be flourished.’’
Onung said that the association would support the NTDC’s plans for repeal and re-enactment of the NTDC Act which was created in 1992.
“We don’t have any problem with the adjustment or amending the bill if we have details. Now we are talking about people speaking with one voice.
“It is time to look at what are the inclusions in the bill that did not allow it to go through. So, we really intend to work with the Corporation,’’ he said.
Responding, Coker urged the association to re-echo the issue of capital for tourism development as well as digital revolution that would benefit tourism in the country.
He suggested that members of the association should engage in new endeavours that would appeal to domestic markets.
He urged them to ensure safety of travellers as well as their travel insurance, to boost domestic tourism in the country.
“Domestic tourism has always been our agenda because it is only platform of domestic tourism that the international tourism will grow.
“There is commonality of purpose and focus between the FTAN and NTDC, we are both promoting tourism. FTAN is association of all tourism bodies in Nigeria while the NTDC is a regulatory body.
“We have just met to look at specific areas where there are problems and how best we can collaborate in terms of the delivery of whatever advice, palliative or support starting with the stakeholders meeting as well as NTDC/FTAN retreat.`
“So, it is just drilling down into deeper collaboration.’’ Coker said. (NAN)