The first time I traveled to Israel I found out that most of the Jews didn’t know Jesus, they know more of Moses. And honestly speaking if we know what we have, we don’t need to go out because we have a lot of rich culture and I think the Minister of Tourism shouldn’t be looking at Culture to be the pivot instead of Tourism because I have never seen anywhere in the world where you are pushing Culture ahead of Tourism.
Tourism is the real umbrella, it is the father of all, where you have a tourism economy, the economy thrives. Culture and tourism have a mutually beneficial relationship which can strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of places, regions and countries. Culture is an increasingly important element of the tourism product as it creates distinctiveness in a crowded global marketplace. At the same time, tourism provides an important means of enhancing culture and creating income which can support and strengthen cultural heritage, cultural production and creativity.
Culture and tourism are linked because of their obvious synergies and their growth potential. Cultural tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing global tourism markets and the cultural and creative industries are increasingly being used to promote destinations. The increasing use of culture and creativity to market destinations is also adding to the pressure of differentiating regional identities and images, and a growing range of cultural elements are being employed to brand and market regions. Partnership is essential. The complexity of both the tourism and cultural sectors implies that platforms must be created to support collaboration, and mechanisms must be found to ensure that these two sectors can communicate effectively. Local communities are beginning to come together to develop cultural products for tourism rather than competing directly with one another. New policies are likely to feature new structures and projects involving public-private partnership and bringing together a wider range of stakeholders to use culture not only to make destinations attractive for visitors, but also to promote regions as destinations to live,work and invest in.
The most important aspect in linking tourism and culture is to develop an effective partnership between stakeholders in the two sectors. In many cases the problem is that there are different approaches: the profit motive vs. non-profit, markets vs. public, etc. The role of any platform trying to bring these two sectors together must be to identify their common interests and to act as a mediator between them. It is clear that there is a common interest in the attraction of people to the regions in which they are based, but very often differences approach get in the way.
In the tourism sector it is normal to speak about visitors, conceived of as customers or clients, whereas the cultural sector is more concerned with residents, usually seen as audiences or citizens. These differences can be overcome when it is made clear that tourists are also part of the cultural audience. As well as partnership between tourism and culture, it is also important to build other forms of partnership, for example with other regions, between the public and private sectors and between a region and its citizens. Links between regions can extend the cultural opportunities available to tourists and help to support new and innovative product offers.
Working with the private sector is essential for attracting investment and continuing to improve the quality of both the cultural and tourism offer. Convincing residents of the benefits of tourism development is increasingly crucial as they come to form the core of the cultural and creative tourism experience.
 
Tourism as alternative to oil
I think one of the reasons we are not thriving in tourism sector is because we are not having major players and stakeholders who are at the helm of affairs, we are having people who are been scold to be ministers, and when you are scold, you still don’t understand it because your investment is not there and you have people who have billions and billions of dollars who are stakeholders in this industry and someone who is just been put there maybe because of political affiliation is coming there to be scold, and you see them coming up with different summits, bring us together to come and tell them about what tourism is all about and hijack all our ideas and they will think they are ministers no they are wrong. Tourism is the pivot, we need to go back to that and we need to understand that inside tourism, we have what we call the minds concept which is meeting incentive, conference and exhibition because these are the bedrocks, the foundation of tourism and that is why the culture, the leisure, the domestic tourism like pilgrimage, estate, fashion and Nollywood all comes as a connection together in making what we call the revenue of tourism, that I believe is the alternative revenue for Nigeria.
Best practice
For instance, trips abroad cost Nigeria over $18.6billion annually. Now let’s take a look at two major ones, religious tourism. In Ogun state axis of Ota we have Shiloh that comes up every November, that is what we call destination tourism 80% of the people that come to Shiloh are not from Ota, they are from Lagos, Lekki, Ikoyi, Ikorodu and some other places outside the country. So they provide buses, and the question I ask is these buses are they moving towards the community of paying taxes? I’m a Christian, the bible says give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar r and what belongs to God to God. But are they doing the right thing? So if the government can work with theses religious bodies, I know this might offend some people but sincerely speaking we are Christians let’s be honest with ourselves, because the honesty and clarity of the game and the way we play religion is painful and is actually to the detriment of the nation. Religious tourism is what Israel feeds on and they make over $1billion every year. So it’s about time we look at Shiloh and RCCG and Mountain of Fire how many government stands are in these places, none. How do people know the country without its stands in those places, they will not know you, be proud to show yourself as a Nigerian.