Skal: How Nigeria can tap from tourism potentials

The newly appointed National President of Skal International (Nigeria), Mr. Daisi Olotu has highlighted the nation’s enormous tourism potential, stressing that the strength of Skal members and their enormous influence could help market Nigeria as one of the leading tourists’ destinations despite challenges encountered.

Olotu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Dees Travels and Tours Limited, the travel arm of Dees Holdings would be inaugurated alongside his executives on February 11, 2022, to oversee the activities of the club in Nigeria.

Skal International is the only organization that brings together all levels of industry practitioners in travel and tourism. In Skal, there are people from all walks of life, from managers to senior officials, we meet on national and international platforms to discuss common matters in the world of tourism today.

Skal, consisting of senior members and professionals of the tourism industry is an international non-governmental organization with over 22,000 members, 500 clubs in 87 countries worldwide, which are connected to the Headquarters of Skal International in Torremolinos, Spain.

 

Speaking to Aviation Metric at the weekend,  he reiterated that the sheer strength of its over 22, 000 members worldwide and the number of members in Nigeria can help market Nigeria to the world more than any means or channel.

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“If we start with the Africa Area Committee congress,  key industry players within Africa will gather in Nigeria to have firsthand experience of the Nigeria tourism culture thereby bringing about positive publicity and increase in revenue, not to mention the impact on our economy if Nigeria could host over 5,000 people during the World Congress”.

“They have done it in Mexico, USA, China, South Africa, Kenya, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand to mention a few, the impact cannot be overemphasized. I was privileged to be part of the club and one of the representatives from Nigeria to attend these congresses and I have seen what hosting a world congress did to the economy of these countries and the tourism industry as a whole”

He further emphasized that tourism as an industry is bigger than the oil industry, stressing that tourism is an oil industry that will never dry.

“What if the oil dries up in Nigeria today? We have to look at tourism as oil that nobody is looking at, the government must look into this seriously. There must be a conscious effort to invest massively in tourism. Dubai is a case of how to grow tourism. Nigeria assisted UAE at inception with funds but look at Dubai today, where the UAE can tell us to our faces that they want to cancel flights to Nigeria”. They are simply telling us that we do not value what we have. This country is bigger than Dubai in terms of tourism, human capital, name it why can’t we dwell on that and use it to our advantage? If we start massively on tourism, another boom is coming for the country. We must see the opportunities and work to improve other sectors. We are ready to work with people in government to achieve tourism growth”, he added.

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Speaking on the inauguration of the national president coming up in Lagos on February 11, 2022, he explained that once, there are more than two regional Skal clubs in a country, there would be a need for a national body that will liaise with the international headquarters.

“Before now, we had Ogbomosho, Ibadan, and Lagos clubs, with the defunct of Ogbomosho and Ibadan clubs, we were left with just Lagos club, which celebrated its 60th anniversary about three years ago but right now as we speak, to the glory of God, Skal club Port-Harcourt has come to stay, Skal club Abuja has also come to stay. This is the time to prove to Nigerians that there is a club that can sell our tourism sector better than any publicity on CNN”

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The function of the national committee is to ensure that our space in the global body is not void. Now that we have more than two clubs in Nigeria, and we have a national committee, it makes it easier to ensure that Nigeria is projected positively.

He disclosed that his mission would be to first make Skal a household name in the travel and tourism sector while looking at the opportunity of hosting the African Area Committee in the next two years by bringing the people in Africa together here in Nigeria

Wole Shadare