The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has said digital tools such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram and Twitter will boost marketing of tourism in the country.
The Director General of NTDC, Mr Folorunsho Coker stated this on Friday at the South-East Tourism Stakeholders’ Forum in Enugu with the Theme: “Utilizing Digital Tools for Optimization and Destination Marketing”.
Coker said that technology had changed tourism market, increasing reach and changing the characteristics of tourism jobs, adding that the only way destination are promoted, demands new skills from tourism entrepreneur.
According to him, technology is the major fulcrum that creates momentum in the leisure-travel space and other tourism products.
He added that relying on physical contacts alone would not function optimally in the modern society as that would make them become redundant.
“The digital revolution has resulted in changes in culture of production, distribution, consumption and blurring the divide among race, wealth and culture.
“It has increased global access and reach of content across the borders in a relatively short time with larger impacts and wider reach.
“Digital tools helps to promote existing tourism assets such as music, films, fashion, sports, food and festivals,” Coker said.
In the past, he said, digital tools like websites, email marketing and search engine optimizations for Google search were the major tools for deployed destination marketing.
“But today, plethora options that include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter have added.
“Therefore, we are all gathered here to collectively develop proactive and sustainable ideas that will properly organise the sectors and accelerate its development in the country and South-East zone,” he said.
The director noted that the meeting was third of its series, assuring that the corporation would ensure that similar meetings were held across the country as resolutions therefrom would be given due consideration.
In his remarks, Mr Ugonna Ibe, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Enugu State noted that there was a wide gap between technology-drive and globally connected tourism business as traditional ones were yet to adapt to digitalise business practices.
Ibeh said Nigerians must key into high-tech digital activities to be able to match trending global digital technology, which has changed people’s way of living, doing business and travel.
“To compete globally, we must align ourselves to transformative digital technology and innovations,” Ibe said.
Discussing the theme, Prof. I.C Nwauzigbo said digital technology created opportunities and attracted foreign inflow for a country that adopted it.
Nwauzigbo from the Hospitality and Tourism Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka added that good quality services and customer satisfaction increased patronage and sustained the sector.
The highlights of the event were bestowing of chieftaincy title “Enyi Ndi Igbo (Friend of the Igbo) to Coker as well as cultural displays.