The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) says less than three per cent of tourists visiting Africa annually choose Nigeria as their destinations.
Karim Rabo, the FTAN president, told NAN in Lagos on Sunday that the figure was low compared to other African countries that usually recorded huge patronage of international tourists.
He attributed the low patronage to poor attitudes usually exhibited by Nigerian tour operators and travel agencies.
He also said that Nigerian tour operators and travel agencies were more interested in packaging Nigerian tourists wishing to travel abroad rather than packaging international tourists to Nigeria.
“Nigerian tour operators and travel agents promote more of outbound tourism than inbound which is not encouraging.
“We need to get it right by promoting more of domestic tourism asset/potential to the outside world than promoting outbound tourism,” he said.
Rabo said that there was a dearth of data about tourism consumptions and market patterns.
“Both the Federal and state government have no data that show the impact of tourism receipts on Nigeria economy,” he said.
He said that FTAN would partner multinational organisations and the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to set up structures that would be collating tourists’ data at all leading tourists’ destinations in Nigeria.
Rabo said that these would enable the government to know the impacts and contributions of tourism sector to the Nigerian economy.
The president said that the association was the biggest investor in Nigerian tourism industry.
“It has been contributing enormously to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and employs thousands of Nigerians across the country,” he said.
Rabo said that the association members include hoteliers; travel agencies, tour operators, tourism academia, travel journalists and cultural artisans.