Tourism in Nigeria has had various contributors to its steady growth and Jumia Travel who is under the main Jumia Group, the leading e-commerce platform in africa and having serious business organisations like Rocket Internet, AXA, MTN, Orange and Goldman Sach as shareholders has played a large role in being a contributor to that growth by affecting lives with their innovation of e-commerce, e-business and more which has reflected in tourism in africa but in furtherance to it’s impact to this industry, Nigeria Travel Awards 2018, organized by Jumia Travel, is to recognize airlines, hotels, tour partners and bloggers who performed exceedingly well in 2017.
The event held at Pearlworth Hotel and Suites, Alausa , Ikeja , Lagos started with a look at tourism in Africa and attendees were brought into the know of Nigeria having over 10% of the population of Africa, which is by far the greatest resource we have in this country — human resource, we are like three countries put together, a great country with great people plus huge talent and we are leading the trail in human resources in Africa.
The Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Folurunsho Coker who was a member of the jury at the awards, described Nigeria as a Mecca and Jerusalem
Speaking with attendees who are young and passionate about development at the Awards, the DG shared deeply how he feels about tourism.
“What are we and who are we? those are the two fundamental questions that needs to be answered in this industry. We are an African country of 193 million, imagine the power and digital footprint that means? you will have to punch few countries together to get those figures. We are the most largest concentration of black people in the world. We are the most populous black country, we have the highest GDP in Africa…which means we have a consumption value ― a market that really don’t need to look outside to satisfy our demands or needs to be perfect within the tourism sector,” Coker said.
“We are lucky in Nigeria even though the cultural and heritage that we traditionally ascribe to tourism has not been able to yield to the returns that we want within this volume, we have been blessed with new mediums of cultural expressions.”
“If you look at the film industry-nollywood, we are number 2 in the world and the fact that we are reputed with such recognition, shouldn’t Nigeria atleast in Africa, have the largest film festival like cannes? the whole world is watching nollywood but we still cannot command a film festival of international standard.”
Coker also said that Nigeria is a pilgrimage country like those other countries.
“If you look at the music as a new medium of cultural expression, everywhere you go, you hear Nigerian… it is accepted ― these are all tourism assets in the world,” he said.
“I follow fashion quite closely and I saw the emerging dominance of the fashion industry and that speaks volume. In a country of 193 million, our fashion week should not be one event in a car park of a hotel ―The fashion industry is a tourism asset that we are also joking with.
“Nigeria is a mecca and Jersalam , Nigeria is a pilgrimage country like those other countries.”
We might not have the volumes yet but religious tourism is something that is here to stay and it’s huge ― I talked about the Redeemed Christian Church of God that has about 187 branches arounnd the world, TB Joshua’s synagogue (a massive crowd of all nations) where you even have African leaders going there to pray… Nigeria could be like jerusalem.