Nigerian Tourism – Is the Fire Dying?

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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.

Erin Ijesha Waterfall: One of the most visited attractions of 2017

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.

Kajuru Castle was another 2017 favorite

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.

Epe Mangroves is a new favorite for Lagos based travellers

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?

 

Also, the girls and I made a video to discuss about this. Please check it out and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t… 🙂

14 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I’m Timmy, and I’ve been a good follower of your amazing platform.

    I have a few things I’d like to ask. Would you mind sending me a message via *edited out*

    Always in awe…

    • Hi Timmy, it’s so good to hear that. Thanks for following the blog. I’ve sent you an email, alternatively you can also reach out to me. I have my email on the ‘About Me’ page.

  2. I’m still excited, but it looks like I might be in the minority. You raise a few of the points I’ve been thinking about i.e. there is a sudden growth of tour operators going to the same places.

    But bottom line, I don’t think tourism is Nigeria can boom as much as we’d like it to without government investing in basic infrastructure that makes travel to and within Nigeria more attractive for foreigners and locals. Electricity, good road network for starters.

    Oh and when will we have a real tourism board? I believe Nigeria has a lot to share with the world, but we need to put our best foot forward, but right now, we’re crawling. We’ll get there though 🙂

    • Loving the optimism! Definitely agree that we need a REAL tourism board and infrastructure upgrade nationwide – or at least in focus tourism areas…

  3. I think another issue may be that tour operators also continue to promote the same places and plan trips to regular places over and over.

    This might also be because some people may have joined the bandwagon of being tour operators because ‘everyone’ was doing it with no real passion per say.

    After 2017, maybe people saw it as ‘this place again?’

    A little bit of creativity is required so as not to bore people.

    Hopefully, it changes.

    • Agree that tour operators need to be more creative with sites and activities. This would go a long way..

  4. As a UK resident I hardly see any African countries advertise here, maybe aside from South Africa. I really think we need to invest a little on our historical and newer sights. We also need to put some of that soft power to use to entice the outside world.

    Madeline
    http://www.madelinewilsonojo.com

    • As a Nigerian living in Nigeria, I rarely see ads about tourism here, so I can imagine they are absent in other countries. If we don’t sell our countries and our stories, the ‘world’ would write a different one for us.

  5. I think if things remain the same, we’d get tired of going to the same spots. So a huge infrastructure investment is required for Tour Nigeria to work.

    kacheetee.com

  6. Time is my major factor, but I would still love to tour Nigeria. I haven’t done much of that.

  7. I went back to Ikogosi last month and I was disappointed. The state of the warm spring is totally sad.

    Yes you are right the fire is dying and after seeing one place too many times, even the operators will get bored

    • My first visit to Ikogosi was also very underwhelming. If we hadn’t gone to Arinta, I would have deemed the trip a waste of resources. I really don’t look forward to going back unless there’s something different and interesting.
      I guess tour operators have to start thinking of creative ways to improve their tours. It’s not going to be an easy task but it has to be done…

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