U.S tour operators urge Nigeria to improve infrastructure for heritage tourism

Posted: August 20, 2012 in travel & tourism

Following a recent statement by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) that the country would soon experience unprecedented boom in tourists traffic from the African American community in the United States, tour operators in that country have also urged the Federal government to reposition the country’s travel and tourism infrastructure to fully attract the market.

It would be recalled that the NTDC at the conclusion of its tourism roadshow to the United States had stated that the country’s inbound tourist figure was about to witness to a boom following reports that more than 70 per cent of African-Americans have found that Nigeria is their root.

The operators while acknowledging the efforts of the tourism regulators at marketing Nigeria’s heritage tourism potential, also identified with the position of the NTDC that Nigeria will see a boom in African American citizens’ traffic into the country.

Recently, an NTDC delegation led by the director general Otunba Olusegun Runsewe was in the United States on a tourism explorative road show.

A press statement issued by the corporation in Abuja, quoted an official of the African Channel – an intercontinental TV station, Mr Mark Walton, as revealing that Nigeria was about to witness a rise in African-American tourist influx following the positive DNA tests on their roots.

Walton, the statement adds said that the new brainwave in Europe and America which prompted many into finding and knowing their behavioural pattern by embarking on DNA test has exposed that majority of the African Americans are indigenes of no other place than Nigeria.

He had exposed that many African-Americans who have gone for the DNA were not only shocked to find out that their tests synchronised well with the Nigerian gene but happy that they have their root in the most populated Black country with huge resources waiting to be tapped, further adding that DNA testing has been generating new wave of awareness across the United States, just as “a Senator had already found out and traced his root to Nigeria.

According to Walton, following this discovery by the senator, several congressmen and prominent individuals have undergone the test and most have traced their roots to Nigeria.

While commending Runsewe for coming into the United States at such point in time when things were working in favour of Africa and Nigeria in particular, Watson said this was the first time the Nigeria’s government would be approaching the issue of its image and understanding of fundamental issues using the right people and channel.

Reinforcing Walton’s assertion about the import of DNA testing Mr Jim Holden, President African Travel Association (ATA), noted that request for information on Nigeria by African Americans has been on the increase since the DNA issue came up.

However, reacting, Mr Stephen Richer of the National Travel Association, the umbrella body for travel trade in the United States, who confessed that demand for tour package to Africa especially Nigeria has leaped significantly following the DNA testing fever in America, said the problem of infrastructure needed to be addressed.

Richer who commended Runsewe for the roadshow urged the Nigerian government to gird its loins, beef up infrastructure and set in motion favourable policy that will endear and attract the home sick African-Americans who will soon be scrambling to Nigeria.

  1. fidelis okosun says:

    Yes at last they can come home and see how it all began.long live Nigeria And America

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