Last year (2017), there seemed to be a boom in the Nigerian Tourism scene, especially on Social Media. With the Naira crashing hard like a badly written computer program, exploring Nigeria became the new cool and more Nigerians sought to travel within.
The tourism industry also saw the emergence of more local tour companies. Even The Federal Government jumped in to ride the waves. With the establishment (or re-invention) of the official Nigerian tourism brand – ‘Tour Nigeria’, things were beginning to look up.
But 2018 came with a new lax. The hype about touring Nigeria seems to be dying gradually. It begs the question – what changed and where is the official tourism brand of Nigeria in all of these? Could it be that we have grown numb after seeing the same sites over and over again? So we ask ourselves, what is new? Most sites in Nigeria have remained exactly the same for decades, leaving visitors who may have plans to return with nothing to look forward to.
Personally, I’m excited to be ‘discovering’ and exploring new places in Nigeria this year. Just last month, I joined Unravelling Nigeria on a tour to Epe, a place I had never been before. This trip, like the camping experience in Omo Forest Reserve, was very unique and unlike any I have attended before.
I think that if Nigerian Tourism must thrive, we need more unique experiences like these and a huge backing from the Nigerian Government, among other things. Sadly, we might be waiting forever for the latter.
Were you hyped up about touring Nigeria last year? What changed or do you still feel the same way?