The Nigeria tourism sector generated over $1.1 billion in 2015, the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Mrs Sally Mbanefo revealed on Tuesday, November 29.
Mbanefo disclosed this during a two-day Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition. The forum being organised by the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) in collaboration with NTDC and the National Institute for Hospitality and NIHOTOUR in Abuja is tagged; “Tourism: Tool for Economic and Development.’’
She said the tourism sector generated the revenue from the related expenditure incurred from the more than 6.01 million tourists that visited the country in 2015.
The NTDC DG stated that the balance of $853 million was generated from 4.8 million tourists that visited in 2014.
”In 2014, about 4.8 million people arrived and the related expenditure was $853 million. While in 2016, about 6.01 million came into Nigeria and we generated over $1.1 billion as the expenditure related to their arrival in this country.
“This is an economic indication of the value that tourism can have in any economy where the government and the private sector give value to it.’’
The DG said that Nollywood had created job opportunities for more than two million persons, 30,000 work in restaurants and over 11,000 in the hotel business.
She, however, listed some of the challenges affecting the sector to include access to gathering statistics, epileptic power supply, inadequate infrastructure, poor access to visa, as well as absence of uniformed standardisation and classification for hotels nationwide.
She therefore stressed the need for investors to tap into the abundant opportunities that abound in the sector, adding that it had also created job opportunities and unified the diverse cultures in the country.