The Director-General of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Wale Ojo-Lanre, has told stakeholders in the tourism sector to fashion out survival strategies, following the devastating blow of the novel coronavirus on tourism.
Ojo-Lanre gave the charge while speaking in an interview with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday.
He lamented that COVID-19 had dealt a huge blow to tourism globally, saying that a blueprint for survival was needed to reactivate the industry.
Ojo-Lanre predicted that there would be an upsurge in traveling after COVID-19, saying that tourism operators needed to put measures in place to make the industry boom again.
According to him, there should be significant tariff reduction by airlines, hotels, restaurants and other players to rebuild the damage done to the industry by the deadly disease.
He said: “I empathise with tourism practitioners, hoteliers, restaurant owners, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and other companies directly hit by COVID-19.
“We have never had it this tough in the history of Nigeria.
“It is our worst moment but I encourage everyone not to lose hope because post-COVID-19 holds lots of hope for the industry.
“After this era, people will indicate huge interest in traveling because they have longed for it.
“A reduction in various forms of tariff will encourage more people to travel.
“So we need to plan a low budget traveling regime because the higher the number of people who want to travel, the more profit each operator makes.”
The director-general advised tour operators to showcase exotic local and international sites, where they could easily generate money from, to serve as benchmarks to jump- start their businesses in the post-COVID-19 era.
Ojo-Lanre said: “I advice every tourism practitioner to prepare and plan ahead of the upsurge in traveling after COVID-19 because it will be another beautiful experience for the industry.”