Growth of The Nigerian Tourism Industry

With a population of more than half a million, Lagos is the largest city of Nigeria. Furthermore, Lagos is also the economic hub of Nigeria and has developed a reputation of a lucrative tourist hub for budget vacations. This is why cheap flights to Lagos from UK has become quite a realistic prospect as cheap flights for Nigerian cities can be acquired from various European countries.

Nigeria has a hot and humid climate and a vast coastline with sandy beaches. There seems to have been an interest in tourism related investment in Nigeria over the past few years which has given boost to its tourist industry. It can be argued that Nigeria has better tourist spots and vacationing areas than ever before. This is because many of the most beautiful places in Nigeria have become easier to access due to better transport facilities and availability of accommodation near attractive tourist spots.

As we all know, tourism industry can be very profitable, especially if seasoned with a hint of branding. The tourism potential of a country has to do not only with its attractive landscape, cultural or culinary, but also with the image it sells itself. And when selling a country, the first letter presentation is often as simple as a logo.

When it comes to Nigeria, many believe that it only has an image problem, which is one of the biggest hindrance in attracting more tourists to Nigeria. Negative news regarding Nigeria and a backward outlook that is depicted on international news channels has played a major role in demonizing Nigeria. Such negative news often lead to repelling potential tourists from Nigeria. Whereas, many areas in countries like UK and USA are often no go areas or areas with a high crime rate. However, such areas are often not highlighted by the mass media and the emphasis is mainly on developing countries, when it comes to showing a culture as backward and barbaric.

This is not only the problem with Nigeria but many Asian and African countries which despite their rich culture, historical places and other excellent tourist facilities are painted in a negative light on international (western) media channels. This seems like a deliberate strategy which comes from a colonial mindset that depicts certain nations as backward and unprogressive, with high crime rates. The fact is that many cities like Islamabad have a lower crime rate than most metropolitan (western) cities. Likewise, countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Vietnam, etc have good tourism facilities that can cater for all kinds of tourists. While countries like Spain have seen a decline in their tourism industry due to the global financial crisis, countries in Asia and Africa have seen better tourism in recent years as people are now looking for budget vacations in countries which are cheaper than other famous tourist hot spots.

This also means that the depreciated value of the currencies of Asian and African countries have made them more lucrative for tourists from other continents than well known tourist hubs.

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