Ned Nwoko, NTDC boosts Cultural Immersion in Nigerian Tourism


Hon. prince Ned Nwoko; Initiator, Project Tourism

The month of April ushered in good tidings for Nigerians with the unveiling of the ‘Tourism Project’ at the hip Bon Elvis Hotels, Abuja with its lovely decor and ambience, in what can be described as a classy lunch media-parley .

Prince Ned Munir Nwoko flanked by Former Deputy Governor , Anambra State, Dr. Okey Udeh (Right); President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria( FTAN) Alhaji Rabo Saleh (2nd Right); Sport & Tourism Ambassador, John Fashanu and Representative of the Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) Ahmed Sule (Left); Former Miss Tourism, Miss Ogenna Walter Ekwubiri (2nd Left); CP , National Park Service , Mr Abong Abong during the media parley.

A partnership between Delta North Senator elect, one of Nigeria’s foremost tourism investor and promoter, Prince Ned Nwoko and Nigerian Tourism Development corporation (NTDC) which has been in the works for over 3 years is keen on growing the industry away from government direct intervention while harnessing its potentials as another key economic derivative asides oil and gas. Not surprising, as countries seek other energy alternatives from oil resulting in dwindling fortunes.

Popular Nollywood actors adding colour to the launch.

Nwoko, initiator and chairman of the project says this is an initiative that has the potential of helping the country meet the increasing demands of her citizens. Through it, we can showcase our dance, food, culture and every element of the cultural Iife of our country. In Nigeria, there is no organised sector with Government supports to promote tourism. Tourism must be nurtured, tourism must be put together, tourism must be taken care of,” he emphasized.

Prince Ned Nwoko (middle) exchanging pleasantries with the President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria( FTAN) Alhaji Rabo Saleh at the media parley.

The partnership would focus on four key areas in building tourism capacity for the country. These are Host Family Scheme; Culture Village; Grassroots Sports Development and Global Road Show to promote tourism in Nigeria. One of the most intriguing aspects of the partnership is the Host Family Scheme, poplar with South East Asia is designed to encourage thoroughly screened and assessed Nigerian personalities and families to host tourists and exchange students in their homes. It is also designed to expose visitors and tourists to the workings of the typical Nigerian society. By this deal, Nollywood ambassadors are to serve as hosts to tourists on a visit to Nigeria. “This is because most of the Nigerian movie artistes are faces foreigners can relate with. We will provide support and necessary security assistance and screening to protect our tourists and artistes in the project,” explained Nwoko.

Initiator, Project Tourism, Ned Nwoko ((9th Left) surrounded by other high profile guests at the media parley..

“Project Tourism” is geared towards allowing tourists, exchange students and other travelers get a firsthand experience of our tourism offering through taking up of rural residences with Nigerian communities.
its a win, win for all as Nigerians will be encouraged to win vacations, trips, holidays, breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a way of promoting destinations, local cousins, culture and sports. In the process, Nigeria will expose her cultural diversity and heritage to the world, building friendships across cultures, countries and continents. The project has to ensure that every state identifies and supports villages in their state that are culturally and geographically rich in tourist features. “For example, in Delta state, Idumuje Ugboko has rich culture and geography features that are delight to behold. There is also Mount Ned Nwoko Tourists Resort. Such community should be identified and supported by the state. We love our culture and traditions. Delta state have monuments and tourist locations.
In a book on tourism sites in the state, it contains 27 tourist locations, incidentally, three (3) of these locations are in Idumuje -Ugboko,” Nwoko revealed.

Ned Nwoko flanked by Former Deputy Governor , Anambra State, Dr. Okey Udeh (Right); Sport & Tourism Ambassador, John Fashanu

There’s no tourism without sports. I daresay. Little wonder, grassroots sports development scheme plays a role here. By this, the project intends to nurture, encourage, promote and manage talents in all areas of sports at the grassroots level; essentially developing sports tourism nationally. On the global scene, the project would undertake road shows with a view to showcasing tourism products of the country. It is expected to cover five continents through organised roadshows.

On its own part, NTDC has not hidden its desire to refocus the travel and hospitality industry in the country since the inception of the current administration led by Folarin Coker, Director Geneneral, a firm believer of investment in the tourism sector of the country as one of the only means for the country to grow alternate source of economic mainstay apart from oil. This partnership, as believed by some experts is perfect. NTDC has the country’s data base on tourism, hospitality, and the corporation is also bringing to the ‘Project Tourism’ table its regulatory infrastructure.

Rich cultural heritage on display

Earlier in the life of the current administration in NTDC, Tour Nigeria, a policy direction that intends to encourage domestic tourism was birthed. The corporation further signed an agreement with Google Earth with a mission towards shaping earthy images of the country on internet. Policy works in Nigeria have consistently made a case for the need to tap into the global and continental potential of tourism. They lament that the country makes less than five percent of the tourism potentials in the continent despite Nigeria contributing an estimated 34 per cent. On the home front, the growth of the industry has been marginal. Its direct contribution to the GDP is estimated at 4.3 for last year. This is quite low compared to global growth of the industry. Worldwide, the tourism industry has experienced steady growth almost every year. International tourist arrivals increased from 528 million in 2005 to 1.19 billion in 2015. Figures were forecasted to exceed 1.8 billion by 2030. But interestingly, United Nations’ World Tourism Organsiation, UNWTO, said that worldwide international tourists arrival (overnight) visitors increased by 6%, to 1.4 billion in 2018 above the 3.7% growth earlier predicted. 

Other travel facts show that tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of over 7.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016.The direct economic impact of the industry, including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions, was approximately 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars that year. A number of countries, such as France and the United States, are consistently popular tourism destinations, but other, less well-known countries are quickly emerging in order to reap the economic benefits of the industry.In 2015, global international tourism revenue reached approximately 1.26 trillion U.S. dollars, having almost doubled since 2005. That year, China had the largest international tourism expenditure, followed by the United States and Germany. The leading city in international visitor spending was Dubai, where tourists spent more than 31.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.“Tourism, as we know, is all inclusive and therefore includes the totality of activities of the people traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for business, leisure or for other purposes for the not more than one consecutive year. It includes, drivers, hospitals, bukateria, and so on,” said Hon Nwoko.

As the name implies, it involves Nigerians coming together with responsibility of promoting Nigerian tourism. There will be Annual competitions where people win prizes. I know that a lot of money is needed to start the road show, we need committed people to help execute the programme. It is proposed to start July this year.

After spelling out the goals of the PROJECT and its areas of focus, Hon Prince Ned Nwoko donated the sum of One Hundred Million Naira (N100m) to the PROJECT as a take off grant.

Responding to the address by the Chairman, its National Coordinator, Chief F. O. Anumba said, “I want to thank Hon Prince Ned Nwoko most immensely for initiating this laudable project, with this progressive collaboration between Linas International Limited and the Nigeria Tourism Development Cooperation, NTDC, I have no doubt that the time for tourism boom in Nigeria is now.”

The media Launch was attended by many dignitaries and officials from National Tourism Development Cooperation, NTDC , Nollywood actors and actresses, like Ejike Asiegbu, Apostle Eucharia Anunobi, Chinda Monalisa, Francis Duru and others. Organizations present were National Children’s Park, Zoo Ambassadors, representatives of higher Institution, the Private and Public Primary and Secondary schools across the country. Foreign missions in Nigeria were also not left out.

5 reasons not to miss Nigeria Trvl Week


Caption: L-R Bankole Bernard, President NANTA; Annette Ibe, Regional West Director of NTDC and Efetobo Awhana, founder and Host of Nigeria Travel Week at a press parley recently

Its the 2nd Edition of Nigeria Travel Week happening 23rd – 24th November 2018, keep these dates on lock down.

The Nigeria Travel Week (NTW) is a multi-day tourism event platform to drive the Nigeria tourism sector by bringing together buyers, consumers, travel techs, tourism/travel service providers and the media to network, review and discuss the development of tourism in Nigeria and Africa. Little wonder, the 2018 theme is  Enhancing Tourism Experiences through Stakeholder Collaborations.

Facts & Figures

In 2017, it had representatives from 14 countries, over 2,000 attendees and 4706 unique voters. Its Social Media impressions are very impressive too, over 5 million instagram mentions and 12 million plus tweets on its debut. I dare say, Nigeria Travel Week is fast becoming Nigeria’s top tourism event.


To promote increased networking and partnerships between the different stakeholders in the travel industry.

Create awareness about the opportunities and potentials in domestic and inbound tourism in Nigeria as well as intra-Africa travel.

Nurture a culture of traveling and holidaying , both domestic and outbound in Nigerians.

5 Reasons not to miss it!

1 – Its the 2nd top travel and tourism event after South Africa’s Indaba where aviation professionals, travel consultants, tour operators, hoteliers, restaurateurs, curators, travel tech and other tourism stakeholders meet to discuss trends and solutions for growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria and Africa under one roof. Just like the theme for the year, Nigeria Travel Week 2018 is a result of a strategic partnership between the different major public and private sector stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism space including the NTDC, FTAN, NANTA, and SKAL Nigeria. The goal is a truly world class event to drive the change for a new narrative for domestic and inbound tourism in Nigeria.


2 – Like any other event of its size, this year’s edition will feature a tourism exhibition where the various tourism stakeholders will showcase and offer amazing travel deals to trade and the public. Different states in Nigeria will provide snippets of their tourism offerings including hotels, museums and attractions, restaurants and cuisine. Visitors will be able to book holidays on the spot or create a dream package for the future.


3 – If you have been angling for an opportunity to meet and network with the boss of Nigerian apex tourism body, Director General of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, this is your moment. Nigeria Travel Week will provide a platform for stakeholders of the tourism industry to meet with Coker who will seek to deepen the level of collaboration within the industry. This is coming as the NTDC has been able to enter strategic partnerships with GOOGLE and Wikimedia to solve one of the fundamental problems facing tourism in Nigeria – information in a digital world!


4 – The Travel Roundtable program is fast becoming one of Africa’s most-talked tourism event. It had over 300 attendees on its debut last year and more are expected this year. It  includes 4 sessions with 24 panelists who are renown in the industry including Prince Yemisi Shyllon of OYASAF, Desmond Majekodumi of LUFASI Park, Jon Howell of Aviadev Africa, Tana Forsuelo of Wavecrest College of Hospitality, Robin Campbell of Nigeria Field Society and Bernard Bankole of Finchglow Travels. The sessions discuss building a career in tourism; changing boundaries in African tourism; investment opportunities in Nigerian tourism and tech trends for the tourism industry.


5 – Save the best for the last. The climax of Nigeria Travel Week is the Balearica Awards also known as the Nigeria Tourism Awards which honours outstanding tourism stakeholders over the last 12 months. The Balearica is named and designed after the Crowned Crane. The Black Crowned Crane was proposed to be the national bird of Nigeria around 1985, even though it is not very clear how and why it was changed to the eagle. Countries have national animals and plants as symbols for tourism promotion.


The statuette is a 24ct gold plated aluminium with a solid black acrylic base. The Balearica will become a pan-African award by 2020. The awards are vetted by Phillips Consulting for quality and integrity purposes. Some of the winners at last year’s awards include the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi won the royal support for Tourism Award; Best tourism governor was clinched by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ibom Golf Resort Uyo won Best Resort while Terra Kulture won the award for Best Restaurant


All events will hold at Federal Palace Hotel, V/Island, Lagos. Attendance is free for the public except the Balearica Awards which is strictly by invitation due to the limited spaces available. Pre-registration for Nigeria Travel Week is through the official website: and via Eventbrite.

Nigeria Travel Week is selling Nigeria to the world, Effortlessy!