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Digital presence will boost Nigeria’stourism – Sharma, tourism expert


If we’ve got digital presence of the good websites of Nigeria, then the variety of individuals visiting that vacation spot, regardless of the place it’s, will improve.

Emeka Anokwuru

Supriya Sharma is the managing director of SAS Enterprise Options, a worldwide enterprise options supplier with competencies in company coaching, administration consulting, enterprise advisory, recruitment and digital advertising. She is a performance-driven company coach, enterprise coach and motivational speaker with versatile expertise in coaching corporations starting from SMEs to multibillion greenback MNCs throughout Africa, Asia and North America. She is a scholar possessing techno business background with progressive hands-on expertise in all the gamut of administration. She strongly believes in giving again to the society as part of her duty and is intently related to ladies empowerment missions throughout Asia and Africa.

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On this view in Lagos, she reveals how Nigeria can develop the tourism sector by way of digitalisation and actively volunteers to develop employability expertise and entrepreneurship among the many youth.

How can we develop tourism in Nigeria?

Whenever you speak about tourism in Nigeria, the very first thing I want to point out is that Nigeria lacks nothing. It’s got all of the geographical options which are wanted in any tourism vacation spot, from mountains to rivers, to lakes and deserts, every part; so, there isn’t a cause to lack in tourism inflow and receipts.

Now, the primary purpose why individuals assume like that’s once we speak about home tourism, there isn’t any digital presence of the varied websites, cultural and pure or the man-made points of interest for these visiting Nigeria. As an example, if I need to go to Erin Ijesha falls, I’m going to Google to learn how to get there, what are the locations to remain, sadly, you gained’t discover something. In that case what occurs? I gained’t make that journey. So, it isn’t all about me, it’s about different individuals as properly, Nigerians or expatriates or anyone coming down to go to. Everyone knows that in the present day Google is every part; no matter we have to discover out, we simply google it up, so if we have now digital presence of the good websites of Nigeria, and pure websites on the digital platform, the place individuals can entry details about them, as to how individuals can get there, the place to remain, actions across the vacation spot, points of interest close by, then the variety of individuals visiting that vacation spot, regardless of the place it’s, will improve. The second problem is upkeep. Take the Nationwide Museum at Onikan Lagos for instance. From my experiences once I obtained there lately, the gate was closed, we stored on honking for about 15 minutes, no one confirmed up, so finally we left with out having to go to the museum. Issues like this dampens the spirit. Why is there no upkeep and is there no safety or why have been individuals not round to inform us the timings for go to and tour and thirdly once we speak about Nigeria the very first thing that involves your thoughts the difficulty of safety, and a few elements not being protected to go to. Nevertheless, there could possibly be challenges within the inside areas however once we speak concerning the capital or metropolitan cities like Lagos or Abuja, I feel security shouldn’t be an enormous drawback. There are locations individuals can go to with out worrying a lot about safety.

Aside from these, what different challenges must be addressed?

Every time tourism is promoted in a place, different small companies crop up and develop round it. There might be lodges, saloons, spas, eateries, memento outlets, et cetera, as a result of individuals come from totally different locations everywhere in the world and all through the nation from totally different cultural backgrounds. So we make sure that we meet their calls for, and make them really feel welcome as they arrive in. Tourism, subsequently, attracts small companies.

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What position ought to authorities play on this?

Authorities undoubtedly has a task to play, however we speak of rising small enterprises, to fulfill the wants of the vacationers, that’s one thing we will do on our personal. The position of presidency could possibly be in regulatory affairs, that’s my opinion, they play regulatory position in making insurance policies in tourism. Nevertheless, once we speak of selling, I feel it’s extra of particular person effort however authorities will undoubtedly help if we’re doing one thing proper and placing our acts collectively and search authorities intervention. On the person position we will do quite a bit by advertising and selling our websites.

What if authorities appoints mistaken the individuals into workplace?

It isn’t simply the federal government right here in Nigeria, there are such a lot of locations on earth, whether or not within the company, particular person and authorities institutions the place such issues occur; mistaken individuals are put in the appropriate place. In human assets, we are saying that proper individuals have to be put into the best place and in the correct time, it is extremely essential to get issues proper. So, it’s alright as a result of it occurs, we’re human and we make errors. There are situations the place people who find themselves not very competent are appointed into positions, in these instances, sure, since we’ve got appointed them, they must be given an opportunity, however once we see they don’t seem to be doing the appropriate factor, we as a democratic nation have all the best to talk up about that place, what we take into consideration the work being finished, whether or not it’s for our personal good or not then we undoubtedly go for a change. That’s the best way democracy works.

Because you got here into tourism, which space have you ever been selling?

There are two issues we’re concentrating on now, once you speak about tourism visitors, the very first thing is digital media for advertising. Digital media present advertising options at very reasonably priced costs and typically we do it totally free. Once we see that the individuals can’t afford the fee, we offer them with the platform the place they will share info relating to the vacationer websites and two is entrepreneurship, like I discussed earlier, there are a selection of small companies that develop round main vacationer websites. We’re taking vigorous steps in creating entrepreneurship in Nigeria. At my private degree I’m taking care and mentoring 27 small-scale enterprises, working in the direction of creating and reworking them to the subsequent degree. There are many free seminars and knowledge sharing periods that we maintain that allow individuals to upscale themselves, and improve their expertise, once we speak concerning the technical expertise which are required to make sure they’re self-reliant and have digital presence, even in small eateries, it isn’t mandatory that you’ve all the cash to personal an internet site however there are such a lot of issues that may be achieved totally free. We maintain periods to assist individuals to know what’s going on round them and easy methods to seize it with minimal expenditure.

Don’t you assume insufficient energy provide might frustrate digitalisation efforts?

That could possibly be an excellent purpose however my expertise with the inside elements of Nigeria isn’t a lot so I’m not likely positive of how poor the situation is. Nevertheless, once you speak concerning the cities or townships, like Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt, we see industries, corporations and companies that need to keep fixed energy provide in any other case the whole lot would come to a halt. We’re having a type of irregular energy provide so anybody who rents an condo in an enormous complicated, she or he has the duty for fixed energy provide. Irregular energy provide shouldn’t be an excuse to not fall in sync whenever you speak concerning the cities. The subsequent essential factor is the web. Just lately, Google had an occasion in Lagos the place they introduced the launch of 200 wifi hotspots within the nation, with these free hotspots you don’t need to spend cash to purchase knowledge to entry the web, you don’t need to have an enormous pc or Apple pc to entry the web. Your telephone is adequate, anyplace you stroll into you will have entry to the web. Should you actually need to do issues, with or with out mild, you’ll be able to, as a result of most of this stuff are free.

What do you assume is our Nigeria’s power to the world?

The very first thing that involves thoughts is the colourfulness of the festivals, whenever you speak of Nigeria, you speak of colors. These are on parade on the Calabar Carnival, the Fante and Eyo festivals and the Lagos Heritage Pageant, the Durbar, Abuja Carnival and the Argungu fishing pageant in Kebbi State. They showcase the actual colors of Nigeria coming from the inside elements of the nation the place the precise tradition thrives. The tradition is filled with music, dance and leisure and once we speak of tourism in Nigeria, you exhibit an array of colors, pure magnificence and leisure. You will have quite a bit to showcase at these nice occasions.

What of culinary tourism?

My private concept when speaking about culinary tourism will be agrotourism, the place we will have true tasting periods or issues like that. You already know you will have giant farms, as a result of the soil could be very fertile you’ll be able to develop a variety of crops, you don’t need to care for the crops a lot, as you would need to do in different climes. If I throw a seed into my backyard, as an example, I don’t should do a lot as a result of the rains are right here, it grows by itself as a result of the land is sweet and soil very fertile. Issues like that, fruits and different decorative crops can develop rather well right here in Nigeria. If we will develop fruit-tasting, like we’ve got within the UK, the place you possibly can go for fruit berry excursions or fruit-tasting journeys, if one thing like that may be developed right here, cash will are available and other people will be enchanted by the pure great thing about how issues are, how inexperienced and the way lovely the fruits are and this will be an enormous overseas change earner within the nation.

What’s your favorite dish?

Nicely someone ready pepper soup for me as soon as, simply as soon as, I tasted it however as a result of I’m a complete vegetarian, we didn’t add another factor to it, it was simply pepper soup. It was good. One of the best factor about Nigeria is the recent and pure fruits that aren’t genetically modified and never injected with dangerous issues, they’re pure inorganic fruits. That is the perfect factor to occur right here.

What’s your tackle the way forward for tourism?

We want to see agrotourism accomplished right here as in developed nations the place they construct farmsteads. We will have farmsteads right here and there, whenever you go to Badagry or Epe you see empty land that could possibly be transformed to farmsteads. They are often commercialised. For those who promote agrotourism and construct farmsteads, you’d create jobs and generate income for the financial system.

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