DIRECTOR General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe has said that the rich and expansive cultural asset of Nigeria as a nation, has the capacity of sustaining a robust tourism industry
Runsewe, who doubles as President of the World Craft Council African Region, made this known in his paper, “Harnessing Nigerian Cultural products for Sustainable Tourism Development in Nigeria also stated that culture plays an intricate role in the development of tourism and would aid Nigeria to grow its earnings in tourism if people understand the interweave between both.
According to him, without a strong cultural base there can be no tourism as all tourism activities are culture based.
He said,” Nigeria is known to be one of the most culturally diverse nations of the world. It has 250 distinct ethnic groups, each, each with unique culture and cultural products. The rich and diverse cultural asset of Nigeria has the capacity of sustaining a robust tourism industry and driving the process of socio-economic development if adequately explored.
According to him, cultural festivals like Eyo Festival in Lagos, Osun Oshogbo Festival in Osun Dtate, Argungun and Nwonyo Fishing Festival in Kebbi and Taraba states to mention a few could serve as key drivers of sustainable tourism in the country if fully harnessed.
He noted that festival events serve as a catalyst that attracts recreation seekers to destinations with great tourism potential and would cause these visitors to spend more days and revenue thus impacting on the local economy.
” For a nation as large as Nigeria, one international festival per state would go a long way in attracting tourists into the country thereby contributing to the development of the economy through spending in hotel lodgings, patronage of local cuisines, transportation, purchase of art and craft products among others.