Tourism – a boost for Nigeria’s economy

With his special tapping knife, he skillfully shaved off a thin layer of rubber on the tree bark in a downward spiral. “This way, the rubber run down to the bucket,” my tour guide explained. Rubber tapping! That was one of the things listed in my tour package when I backpacked in Thailand. The other activities were ox-drawn carriage ride, elephant ride, Muay Thai, and Thai cooking. Wherever I travel, many things get me thinking about tourism in Nigeria – many tourism ideas I think would work in Nigeria.

Despite poor electricity, bad roads, civil unrest and a mountain of other issues, Nigeria has the potential for a booming tourism market. From historical tours to exotic beaches to cultural celebrations and festivals, there are tons of things for tourists to do and see in Nigeria.

If Nigeria paid equal attention to its tourism sector as it does its oil and gas, there would be some real advancement in Nigeria’s economy. The Nigerian tourism sector gained a bit of momentum in 2006, which led to the creation of Nigeria’s Tourism Development Masterplan under formal president Olusegun Obasanjo. But who knows what’s happened to that plan or any discussions about tourism in Nigerian since the 2011 election.

Simple ideas such as rubber tapping are incorporated into tour packages in many countries around the world, which contribute to a healthy tourism market.

Whether state-run or privately operated, there are many small ideas Nigeria can fine-tune and package for tourism. Off the top of my head, here are a few ideas that could work:

  • Historical/traditional – artifacts, kingdoms and palaces and other traditional architecture, mosques, churches, museums, gov’t buildings, African ancestral beads/jewelries (for traditional events, wedding)
  • How it’s made – palm wine, palm oil, crude oil tour (this is a huge natural resource Nigeria is known for globally, this could be a part of a tour package), traditional Nigerian attire (history, how it’s made etc), rubber tabbing
  • Farms – popular Nigerian foods, a day in the life of a Nigerian farmer
  • Fruit farms – pick your own fruits while learning about fruit farming in Nigeria
  • Entertainment/theatre – traditional dance, comedy, plays, native music
  • Food tourism – gari + pounded yam flour (how it’s made), cooking school (how to make Nigerian foods: egusi soup, etc)
  • Events – festivals and cultural celebrations, music, football, etc
  • Infrastructure for markets and bazaars
  • Natural attractions and other geographic sites – waterfalls, rivers, tropical rain forests, national parks etc
  • Parasailing, hiking (Aso Rock etc), beaches, zip lining, off the beaten path sites

If it weren’t for immense political instabilities and a stack of other major issues, no doubt tourism would one of the key solutions for boosting Nigeria’s economy.

Related Links

Nigeria maps out tourism master plan to diversify economy

70 Exciting Tourist Destinations in Nigeria

Come to Nigeria

Hospitality Nigeria

Virtual Tourist Nigeria

Online Nigeria


~ by omonaij on April 22, 2012.

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