Nollywood: Another potential revenue earner driving Nigeria’s tourism

Posted: November 25, 2012 in travel & tourism

Nigeria, has for long endured the description of being a mono-economic nation, one that has cost the country in terms of infrastructure development and upgrade, imbalance of trade with other economies, susceptibility to constant oil price changes, inability to conform with long term fiscal policies, and many more negatives.

Regardless of how successive administrations have mouthed commitment to expanding revenue generation base to embrace all sectors, the country is constantly been held hostage by unpredictable oil revenue earnings, which in turn impact on capital projects, while also redefining scope of recurrent expenditures for the country.

While the potential of the entertainment industry to challenge crude is stretching optimism, the tourism sub-sector on the other hand, remains one sector with that viability to rescue the country from its over-dependence on crude oil going by the scale and scope of its spread and reach in the country and even beyond.

With a seeming boom in global hotel pipeline construction more than doubling in the last three years following arrivals hitting all-time high of more than 10, 000 daily into the country, the Nigeria tourism industry is growing, thus, effectively positioning the country as a major business destination in the continent, having already cornered the West African sub-region.

“I have absolutely no doubt that for Nigeria over the years laboured under the challenges of a mono-product economy, that we have the opportunity of ruling tourism out as a new frontier for our growth and development. I say this confident of the fact this is the biggest economic sector of the world and if Nigeria must rightfully take its place as the biggest black nation on the face of the earth then, all of us must be willing solders in the new agenda,” said the minister of tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, recently.

“On the Nollywood, you know that Nigeria is the second in the world in terms of film production and that is why we have been very strong on entertainment tourism. If the world is now saying we have potentials, if the world said that there is something good that can come out of us what are we waiting for? It’s for us to protect and showcase that interest to the world that yes we can- we also can do it,” said Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).

Recently, Euromonitor, the world’s leader in strategy research for consumer markets recently released its annual World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2012 at the just-concluded London’s World Travel Market (WTM), in which it highlighted Nollywood as a major driver of tourism in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, thus further confirming economics experts’ position on the viability of non-oil sectors like tourism and entertainment as potential revenue earners.

For this year’s edition of the annual report, the Euromonitor Trends Report for 2012 noted among others that technological innovation remains the driving force between the rise of smart TVs and creating new opportunities for travel brands, while also acknowledging that Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, is a magnet for intra-regional African travel.

According to the report, Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, remains the world’s second largest in volume terms, after Bollywood (India) and ahead of Hollywood (United States), with over 2,000 films produced annually.

While it noted that Nollywood films are popular in many African countries including Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gambia, the Euromonitor revealed that in these African countries, Nollywood films are distributed through TV channels and DVDs and are more popular than Hollywood films.

“Another important foreign market for Nollywood films is the vast Nigerian Diaspora overseas, with significant numbers in the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa,” said Caroline Bremner

Global Head of Travel and Tourism Research, Euromonitor International.

In driving tourism in Nigeria as well as the rest of Africa as an emerging trend, the report noted with Lagos as the centre of the Nigerian film industry, with many films shot in the Festac area of the city, Nollywood has helped to change stereotypes about Nigeria, by highlighting its culture, norms, creativity and hospitality.“The huge popularity of Nollywood films attracts domestic and regional African tourists to Nigeria, visiting film locations with arrivals to Nigeria expected to record a 3 per cent CAGR over 2012-2016, mainly due to intraregional tourism fuelled by expanding African economies,” the report stated.

Observing that the popularity of Nollywood will be a major growth driver with the leisure sector, attracting film fans and business travel boosted by the growing economic importance of the film industry, the report noted that the situation has spurred the emergence of several film villages being developed throughout Nigeria.

“Abuja Film Village, Plateau Film City and Lagos Film City aim to boost the film industry by providing modern film, TV and audio production facilities, and also encourage tourists to visit. Thanks to increasing tourism flows, 2012 saw a boom in hotel openings in Lagos, including Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy,” Bremner said.

Continuing, the Euromonitor Global Trends Report 2012 noted that in Nigeria presently, more hotels are under construction or in the pipeline from groups such as Hilton Worldwide, Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group and Protea.

“Airlines operating intra-regional routes will benefit, including Arik Air and Air Nigeria, while new African low-cost carrier, FastJet, is expected to start operating flights in Nigeria in future,” it revealed.

For Africa, therefore, the report summed that Destination Nollywood Nigeria’s film industry for 2012 remains the world’s second largest and attracts intra-regional visitors, drawn to its film locations and culture.

The report also highlighted that African economic growth outpaced the global average in 2012, thus boosting disposable incomes, just as it noted that the region is poised for continued strong growth in arrivals, incoming tourist receipts, air and hotel value sales in 2013.

“Intra-regional travel is crucial for the African tourism industry, due to strong business, linguistic and cultural links between many countries,” the report concluded.


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