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Tour operators tap Otunba Runsewe’s experience

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi

The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has said his arms are wide open to support moves aimed at revamping the tourism economy of Nigeria. Runsewe made this known in his office while hosting the newly elected executives of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, NATOP, who paid him a courtesy visit recently.

The D.G congratulated the newly elected executives on their victory and expressed delight over the visit which he said will cement the already existing relationship between the NCAC and NATOP.

Runsewe said one of the ways a tour operator can break even is to establish partnership with tour operators in other parts of the world to aid their operations in tour packaging with good cultural content that will make a difference. He also said NATOP has the capacity to improve the country’s GDP through tourism, but he decried the situation where the dream of the association has not been fully brought to fruition due to the low level of marketing our cultural content:

“Our culture is very rich. It is therefore your responsibility to package and market it and make it more attractive to the world,” Runsewe said.

The Director General revealed that due to the important role NATOP plays in marketing the good cultural potentials of Nigeria, tour operators will be given a special platform during this year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, holding in Lagos next month, to enhance its activities.

The newly elected President of the association, Mrs Ime Udoh, said they were in the culture headquarter to introduce the new executive of the association and thank Otunba Runsewe for his immense contributions to the development of the culture and tourism sector, and also to tap from his wealth of experience.

Mrs Udoh said as the umbrella body of all tour operators in the country, the onus is on the association to market the country as having some of the best tourist sites in the world, given all its God-given potentials.

The task of fulfilling the association’s mandate is enormous, Udoh said: “We want to leverage on the Council to succeed. We are here to synergize and collaborate with the NCAC to portray our country as the best tourist destination in the world by selling rich culture and heritage and transform the sector to be the oil that should drive the economy.”

Mrs Udoh expressed the association’s readiness to partner with the Council and tap from the window created by INAC Expo and NAFEST, the Council’s major programmes, to create jobs and alleviate poverty among Nigerians.

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