The Lagos government has commended the strategic efforts of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) to rid the travel trade sector of fraudsters, noting that NANTA is “the most serious and organised travel and tourism trade body in Nigeria”.
In line with this development, the state government assured that it would – as matter of urgency – initiate visible partnership platforms that will make sure NANTA’s local and international reach and experience are used effectively in marketing Lagos as Africa’s must-visit destination.
Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner of Tourism for Lagos State, made the remarks during a visit to his office by NANTA President Bankole Bernard and his entourage. He noted that NANTA deserved support and encouragement from any serious tourism facilitator or state. According to Ayorinde, NANTA has shown the ability to lead the industry through brilliant and many commendable projects under Bankole Bernard’s leadership.
“In the many associations in the tourism industry, NANTA to me stands out, and we are going to work with NANTA to build and create a new Lagos tourism. Indeed, we were once on course in this direction but the relationship nosedived. I am happy today that we are back on the same page”, the commissioner stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the NANTA President called on the commissioner to aggressively rebrand Lagos and push creative ideas that will position Lagos as the most populous destination in Africa with marketing offices in New York, Jo’burg, London and Dubai.
Bernard advised the state to let tourism benefit the rural people of Lagos, adding that NANTA’s strategic national spread can help boost both national and international exposure of Lagos tourism products and offerings.
“We appreciate having an agency solely devoted to the promotion of Lagos tourism products, but we caution that all inputs must be evaluated to avoid the pitfalls associated with past efforts in this quest”, he added.
Bernard congratulated the commissioner for his noticeable and well-intentioned efforts to change the narrative of Lagos tourism since he came into office a few months ago and urged him to keep the fire burning. He said: “The presentation of the Lagos master plan, the new tourism promotion agency and even the frontline partnership with the federal government to organise a very successful 61st UNWTO conference are critical inputs that show that you have the ears and support of the governor to push Lagos tourism into the consciousness of local and international visitors and investors.”