The Lagos state government has indicated interest in partnering with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) to deepen the development of tourism.
In line with this development, the state government assured that it would as matter of urgency, initiate visible partnership platforms that will enthrone effective utilisation of NANTA’s local and international reach and experience in marketing Lagos as Africa’s must visited destination.
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Commissioner of Tourism, Lagos state, Steve Ayorinde who made the remarks during a visit to NANTA President, Mr Bankole Bernard recently, noted that NANTA’s efforts to check quacks and interlopers who masquerade as travel agents is commendable.
He said this had shown that the association was determined to have enabling regulatory act to guard its membership and an industry identification card to check intruders, noting that these are signs of a serious and well focused association which deserves support and encouragement from any serious tourism facilitator or state.
“In the many associations in tourism industry NANTA to me stands out and we are going to encourage and work with NANTA to build and create a new Lagos tourism.
“Indeed, we were once on course in this direction but the relationship nosedived but am happy today that we are back on the same page,” Ayorinde said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the NANTA President, called on the commissioner to aggressively rebrand Lagos and push ahead creative ideas that would stand out Lagos as the most populous destination in Africa with concrete marketing offices in New York, Johannesburg, London and Dubai.
Bernard advised the state to let tourism benefit the rural people of Lagos, adding that NANTA strategic national spread can help boost both national and international exposure of Lagos tourism products and offerings.
“We appreciate all the infrastructural drive of Lagos governor to better Lagos tourism tomorrow, particularly in having an agency solely devoted to the promotion of Lagos tourism products but again we caution that all inputs must be evaluated to avoid the pitfalls associated with past efforts in this quest”, he added.
Bernard congratulated the commissioner for his noticeable and well intentioned efforts to change the narrative of Lagos tourism since he came into office few months ago and urged him to keep the fire burning, adding “the presentation of the Lagos master plan, the new tourism promotion agency and even the frontline partnership with the federal government to organise a very successful 61st UNWTO conference are critical inputs that show that you have the ears and support of the governor to push Lagos tourism into the consciousness of local and international visitors and investors.