NTDC donates StarTimes decoders to hotels


In its genuine effort to sanitise, empower and create an enabling environment for tourism stakeholders to explore and maximise the full benefits of tourism, the apex tourism regulatory agency in Nigeria, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC)  last Friday entered into a partnership with NTA and launched three tourist products continued to add value to tourism.

Sharing this view at the just concluded stakeholders’ dialogue forum with the Director-General of the apex tourism agency, Chief Olusegun Runsewe, reassured them of the significant role of tourism in the socia0-economic development of Nigeria vis-a-vis the impact of the drivers of the sector.

The products launched at the dialogue involved a range of service-driven equipment (free cable TV, hotels data base system, tourism hour on StarTimes TV, multiple hotel telephone call receivers, etc), to boost the day-to-day activities and also add value to customers’ services in Nigeria hotel and hospitality outfits ditto tourism industry.

The products, deliberately invented to strengthen the public and private sector initiative in the tourism industry, will not only boost the services delivery of stakeholders but also give a sense of purpose as partners in progress.

Speaking at a one day tourism stakeholders’ dialogue forum, NTDC, Chief Runsewe, who is optimistic on tourism replacing oil as a money- spinning sector, said the drive to reposition tourism sector cannot work without a symbiotic relation  with the drivers of the industry.

While urging stakeholders to collaborate with NTDC to steer the ship of the tourism industry to a sustainable destination, Chief Runsewe said the corporation would continue to devise newer ways to add value to tourism business in Nigeria.

“I want to assure all registered hotel and hospitality outfits that the NTDC would be giving a free decoder to hotel and hospitality outfits certified by the corporation as legal entity, and in addition, there are inbuilt plasma TV decoders for the hotels that want to go extra miles at giving customers added value for money.

In this regard, the tourism helmsman said that the NTDC has arranged to support any registered hotel and hospitality outfit interested in buying the inbuilt Plasma TV decoder, at a relatively discounted price.

Runsewe added that free StarTimes decoders for certificated hotel and hospitality outfits will also include a free subscription bouquet for six months.

“I am here today with some few products, which we have been able to work on, to position the industry.”

Reviewing the statusquo of the corporation before his appointment as the DG NTDC, Runsewe said, “Before 2006, nobody was talking about tourism, but seriously things changed because of the effort I and my team at the NTDC put in place and at present, everybody is now doing one thing or the other.

“I must tell you that the reason tourism is striving today was that my administration came out to fight the 419 syndrome, a plague, which was hampering the development of the industry.

“When I came in as the Director-General of the corporation, in one day, I received 25 fraud letters from different companies and people, claiming to be tourism consultants and experts. I drove them away by introducing a certification project, whereby genuine stakeholders were awarded certificate.”

For tourism to match the trend of development, the NTDC boss emphasised on the need to have a Tourism Development Fund (TDF), which he said that it will bring practical meaning to the to the PPP-initiative of the Federal Government.

“There is no country in the world that is making it big in tourism without a development fund set aside to support industry players.

According to Runsewe, “The TDF which is a very crucial factor in the development of the industry is underway to compliment the promotional effort sustained by NTDC.”

Educating the stakeholders on the task involved in the grading and classification exercise, the NTDC boss explained that it was not a state affairs, but a statutory responsibility of the NTDC, considering the financial implications, logistics, skills and expertise required.

“Any state in Nigeria that claimed to have the resources to undertake the hotel grading and classification exercise is not sincere with the stakeholders because by global standard, it is expected to be a uniform exercise, which gives credence to NTDC as the apex tourism agency and can not in any way be limited to a state or region.

“To do grading and classification, one needs about three billion naira to gradually complete the exercise, because we need to bring the international community, under the Nations World Tourism United Organisation (UNWTO) to visit and collate information from the hotels in the 36 states of Nigeria.”