Mr. Folorunsho Coker, Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), says he is committed to accelerating domestic tourism growth and fostering socio-economic development in Nigeria through the tourism value chain.
Coker, who was recently re-appointed as DG, NTDC by Mr. President, expressed this commitment in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
Born in July 1965, Coker was first appointed to the position in March 2017. He sees his reappointment as another opportunity to collaborate with critical stakeholders in the industry to deepen the Nigerian tourism sector using domestic tourism as a lever for economic development, and for curating a positive narrative and image for Nigeria.
He stressed that domestic tourism must be encouraged to enhance the creative sector and galvanise economic growth across other sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing.
In his own words “My agenda is to drive the tourism vision of NTDC as laid out by the Federal Government’, ‘It is also to promote our domestic tourism sector and ensure sustainable tourism practices that enhances the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry as seen in other parts of the world’.
The DG promised to continue with the existing template of promoting domestic tourism, deepening digital capacity, pursue tourism focused training, liaise with the National Assembly for the enactment of a new tourism law, better tourism infrastructure and greater access to funding for the sector. He also added that better tourism welfare was crucial in the bid to move the NTDC to enviable heights.
Coker emphasised that it is imperative for the country to have a new tourism law to enable us harness her tourism potentials. He stated that a new tourism law would energize the sector and boost tourism.
“The law needs to reflect contemporary realities in tourism,” he said.
He noted that NTDC was committed to promoting the best of Nigeria by leveraging on disruptive technologies to deepen our reach and supporting creativity, youth and entrepreneurs.
“We will continue our collaborations with our digital partners to shine a light on Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, spectacular nature, bustling cities and our welcoming spirit”, he said.
We have a digital framework in the promotion of tourism, information and the sharing of the nation’s culture and we have partnered with Google Arts and Culture, Facebook and wikipedia amongst others for a global reach.
He further reiterated the commitment of the Corporation to continue to partner with the Private Sector, State Governments, and International bodies to help meet its statutory mandate.