Mr Ini Akpabio, the Group Managing Director, NANET Hotel and Suites, Lagos, has urged the Federal Government to embark on the development of architectural tourism to reposition the tourism sector.
Akpabio complained that Nigeria did not have many high-rise buildings that would attract the international market.
According to him, architectural tourism has to do with erecting gigantic edifices, infrastructure and fascinating environment that can attract visitors.
“Although, we have some fascinating sites that can attract international tourists but government needs to do more for tourism development.
”Government needs to give the existing tourist sites a facelift, this will make them more attractive to both local and international tourists, ” the hotelier said.
Akpabio said that many Nigerians travelled to places like – Dubai in United Arab Emirate,(UAE) Paris in France, Johannesburg in South-Africa, Nairobi in Kenya and Beijing in China because of their architectural tourism.
He said such architectural edifices in Dubai and other cities of the world outside Nigeria were being frequented by tourists because they were attractive, fascinating.
He said that they had boosted the internally generated revenues of those countries from millions of foreign visitors and tourists visiting.
“Architectural tourism is a way to boost the nation`s foreign exchange earnings and create jobs for the youths.
“I can say, categorically, that it will attract no fewer than 70 million tourists annually and generate billions of dollars in foreign exchange as well as millions of employment.
“Placing tourism at the heart of development constitutes an essential investment to a successful globalisation process that takes into account the principles of economic diversity.
“This project will strengthen the contribution of tourism to the sustainable development of the sector and for the economic growth of the nation, “ the hotelier said.
Akpabio added that the government could not achieve it alone but needed to partner others through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
He appealed to the government to collaborate with private investors, put in place friendly policies and an enabling environment to make architectural tourism achievable in Nigeria.