What Oil & Gas Company CEO Told Nigeria Tour Operators That Raised Their Hope


Posted by JUSTOURS News
It might seem as if oil & gas companies have no interest in the tourism industry. It is changing. Crucial role of the travel trade to any nation’s economy is even being highlighted by oil magnets for obvious reasons. It is expected that changes in the oil & gas sector may accelerate economic boom in the invisible trade. Some oil producing countries have begun to think outside the box, diversifying their economy.
In his speech to Nigeria tour operators (NATOP) during their recent annual general meeting in the oil-rich Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, an oil and gas magnate, Mr. Akanimo Udofia, hailed the tourism power of tourism.                             He said: “Tourism is bigger than oil and gas in Nigeria, if well harnessed.”
Udofia said the unlocking of the prosperity in the tourism industry would further draw visitors and investors into the country while more jobs would also be created for Nigerians, especially unemployed youths.
Hope rises as Udofia reeled out figures to his excited audience at the 2021 NATOP AGM in Uyo. He gave a window to show how the tourism sub-sector have fared. He said a country like Thailand is ranked the fourth earner for tourism in the world with $60 billion yearly from tourism alone, adding that Saudi Arabia despite being rated as the second largest petroleum reserves country in the globe, at least 12 million visitors still visit Saudi Arabia yearly, earning about $12 billion in the process from tourism.
In the same vein, he said Sao Tome and Principe with a total population of 200,000 earns $66 million from tourism annually, representing about 17 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Udofia added that The Gambia also makes about $116 million yearly from tourism which accounts for 20 per cent of its GDP.  He advised Nigeria to look to medica tourism.
“The constant growth in the globalisation of health has led to the rise of medical tourism. While most people prefer to treat their conditions closer to home, certain parameters might often become obstacles while seeking medical treatment,” he noted.
President of NATOP, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul commended the businessman for his passion for humanity. “Your support is well appreciated,” she said.
Commissioner of Tourism, Akwa Ibom State, thanked Udofia for showing the “hospitality that Akwa Ibom is reputed for. ” Akwa Ibom State, he said, is ready for Tourism and have the human resource and capacity to make a success of it.
The Chairman BOT of NATOP, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung also thanked Udofia for his kind gesture( Udofia supported NATOP and its drive to grow tourism in Nigeria with a cash gift of N5 million). “NATOP is a young association with a weak base because of the state of the tourism industry in Nigeria so this support will go a long way in strengthening the association. Most of our members are young but passionate so this will encourage them,” Onung, who is the new president of the organised private sector tourism body, FTAN, said.   Contact us: just_tours@yahoo.com

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