Stakeholders in the tourism sector have described non representation of Nigeria in the recently held World Travel Market (WTM) in London as shameful, disheartening and detrimental to the development of the tourism industry in the country.
The team leader of the popular tour broking firm Ufit fly, Evang. Ajibola Ogunkeyede who just returned from WTM made the call in Ibadan while addressing newsmen where he described the World Travel Market London as a leading global event for the travel industry to meet with other professionals in the tourism sector.
Also reacting was the Vice President Southwest of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) Tokunbo Dagunduro who rued the absence of the country where tourism leaders from across the public
and private sectors came together for a high-level discussion on tourism’s role in rural development, the challenges and opportunities.
“Also the ministers’ Summit on technology for rural development was also hosted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with WTM, with focus on tourism innovation and technology and their
place in empowering rural communities which took place at the ExCEL London Convention Centre from 4th to 6th November, we supposed to to miss out in such event”, said Dagunduro.
Ufitfly boss in his words said: “I just returned from World Travel Market where we have countries from everywhere in the world represented by their ministry of tourism and we have destination management teams approved by the ministry of tourism that all came around to showcase good things about their countries, what people can gain for coming into their countries for holidays, business and leisure, but it’s unfortunate that our country, Nigeria was conspicuously missing there”.
“This is disheartened because we have countries from our fellow African countries such as Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia Uganda, Rwanda,South Africa and Kenya that are not as big as Nigeria being represented, it was too worrisome for us not to have a stand in such gathering where we can better sell our tourism potentials to the
world”, Ogunkeyede noted.
He added that “for years now we have been airlifting thousands of people to different destinations especially Israel, Greece, Dubai, Kenya, Rome and to god be the glory once again there have been success although even though there where challenges and obstacles but today we are victorious in all ways”.
“We are able to sign-up new destinations where I know Nigerians will like to visit this year and years to come, which is a joyful thing to Ufitfly brand, before now Saudi Arabia was meant for Muslims alone but now, I was able to sign-up a deal that irrespective of your religion, you can now visit Saudi Arabia, while we can procure you the visa within 24 hours as much as you’re genuine traveler.
“We have also secured Qatar for people who are interested in going there for holiday we have also signed up New York City and Orlando Florida”.
Written by Olanrewaju Agiri