Tourist expert urges Nollywood to portray Nigeria’s rich heritage

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A Tourism expert in Nigeria says there is need for Nollywood filmmakers to showcase Nigeria’s rich tourism potential to the world through movies.

Mr Ikechi Ukoh who is also the Chief Executive Officer AKWAABA Travel Market said this in a telephone interview on Friday in Abuja, noting that  film is a veritable tool for showcasing a nation’s lifestyle and opportunities.

He noted that the Nigerian movie industry, was gaining acceptance on the global stage, which makes it a viable platform to promote the nation’s tourism potential.

Ukoh said that tourism potential when projected through movies would create awareness, thereby, attracting tourists across the world to visit the country.

“Most people have never been to Lagos, but learn about Nigeria through the negative news being reported by foreign news agencies as well as those beautiful buildings they see in Nigeria movies.

“Those movies that portray a lot of voodoo and witchcraft have sold the image of Nigeria as fetish people.

“We can ignore the negative part and take advantage of the positive tourism part, the movie industry gives us a great advantage, a great base on which to build our tourism.

“The entertainment industry (music) plays Nigeria music everywhere. However, can we use these people to market Nigeria, can we send Davido to a particular country to invite people for his concert, that is what America does,’’ he said.

He called on the State Governments to encourage tourism in their domains saying they own all the assets and legal powers to regulate and organise as tourists destination are owned by the States.

Mr Ukoh added that the Federal Government only had the capacity and power to market, promote and also advice in the area of tourism.

Rahila L.