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30th June, 2013.
Erin Ijesha Waterfall, Osun State, Nigeria.

Nigerian Tourism sector gets continental nod, sets to launch 'Fascinating Nigeria'

The African Hospitality Investment Council has singled out Nigeria as the most investment friendly country in Africa.

The Nigerian Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Edem Duke, made this known during his midterm achievement presentation at the 2013 Ministerial Platform in Abuja recently.

He noted that the ministry in the period under review had developed a new policy on Culture and Hospitality industry aimed at repositioning the ministry.

"In the year under review, the ministry has embellished over 200 Nigerian missions abroad as well establish cultural centres in Brazil, which attracts over 2million tourists", the minister said.

Mr. Duke equally said that Nigeria also through the ministry established a Nigerian village in China which has boosted the Nigerian-China relationship.

The minister also said that the ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation had also revamped the National Theatre in Lagos to its lost glory.

Recognising that the country needs a new tourism brand, the minister said the launch of a new brand "Fascinating Nigeria" would capture the two hundred and thirty five potential tourism sites in the country aimed at attracting tourists to the country.

As a new vista will be opened in the country's culture and tourism annals on Thursday when "Fascinating Nigeria", the nation's new brand identity is launched in Abuja.

NIGERIA, Africa's most populous nation is blessed with a rich culture, the main driver of tourism. From north to south, east to west, Nigeria is a study in cultural diversity that sadly, has not been properly harnessed over time to generate money and create jobs.

However, all that is about to change with the new tourism brand identity which captures everything about the country.

"There is no country in the world that doesn't have a brand identity when it comes to tourism. Virtually every country in Africa has something that speaks to the ethos of their tourism products.

Our brand identity is 'Fascinating Nigeria' because there is nowhere else in the world where this appellation best suits, whether it is in business, nature's endowment, and investment climate, agriculture, whatever, tourism is the first letter of recommendation and our culture is a major collateral for this to activate," Duke added.

Several countries are making tonnes of money from marketing their natural endowments; nothing stops Nigeria from doing same by aggressively but intelligently showcasing our arts, crafts, cultural diversity and colourful history under the 'Fascinating Nigeria' initiative.

Source: VON/ANN

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