Nigeria’s tourism industry is expected to grow significantly in the next few years, with a projected revenue total of $2.95 billion in 2023. The credit is due to the government’s efforts to promote the sector and attract more tourists to the country. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry is expected to contribute 6.2% per year to the GDP in the next ten years. It currently employs over 20% of the workforce and accounts for 34% of the country’s total GDP. One of the prime reasons for the growth of their tourism industry is the country’s rich heritage, with over 250 ethnic groups and a diverse array of traditions, arts, cuisines, and the world’s most beautiful landscapes, national parks, and waterfalls.
The government has extensively worked on addressing the challenges that have been hampering the tourism industry for the past few years, like a lack of infrastructure and security concerns. The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has been the face of all government efforts to develop tourism sites and improve infrastructure such as roads and airports to make it easier for visiting tourists. The government has also been collaborating with the private sector to develop the industry. They launched the Tourism Master Plan in 2017, which outlined strategies for developing tourism and travel while attracting investment. The plan aims to increase tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP from 4.8% to 10% by 2023.
The private sector has been of great help in investing, with several hotels and resorts opening up in recent years. International chains such as Marriot and Hilton have also announced their plans to expand in Nigeria.
Another important factor driving the tourism sector is the rise of the middle class in the country, as they are expanding ways to spend their disposable income, leading to an increase in domestic tourism and a slow rise in demand for international travel as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a global impact on the tourism industry due to travel restrictions and border closures, causing a sharp drop in tourism activity. The government has been trying to rectify the downfall by introducing the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan as a support. Also, the Tourism Support Fund provided financial support to tourism businesses affected by the pandemic.
The tourist sector in Nigeria has a generally favourable outlook, with analysts predicting considerable development over the coming few years. Nigeria’s rich cultural legacy and natural beauty, along with the government’s attempts to promote the industry and draw investment, make the nation a desirable travel destination. More Nigerians might be lifted out of poverty as a result of the industry’s capacity to generate jobs and stimulate economic growth as it expands.