Virtual Kollage: The roles of private agencies in tourism in Nigeria

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The roles of private agencies in tourism in Nigeria


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IDENTIFICATION AND ROLES OF PRIVATE TOURISM AGENCIES IN NIGERIA
Introduction
It has been long realized that the development of some sectors of a national economy cannot be achieved without the input of private players. This has led to public-private partnerships in many sectors of national economies. In the tourism sector of the Nigerian economy many private individuals and companies have added their efforts to the national agenda. Some of these individuals have come together to form associations to better focus on the collective agenda. These associations have been identified and discussed below.

Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) came into existence in 1997. It was founded by the Federal Ministry of Culture and National Orientation. The primary aim of its founding was to make it easy for the ministry to liaise with private operators in the tourism and cultural sector. The FTAN thus became the Umbrella body of all the Tourism and tourism related Associations in Nigeria. According to FTAN, “Our vision is to grow the domestic tourism market and to position Nigeria as the leading business tourist destination in West Africa."

According to information gleaned from their official website, one of the many functions of FTAN is to “Act as the apex body to provide leadership, direction and control for private sector travel, hospitality and allied services associations/businesses.” It is also to “Co-ordinate, promote and protect the interest of the sector of the nation’s economy and in particular the interests of its members.”

National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA)
In 1973, a group of individual travel agents realized the importance of getting organized as a national body of travel agents. The aim was first to promote the interests of their business and secondly to serve as the voice of private agencies in tourism. It was also to regulate the activities of travel agencies and to discipline erring members so as to instill professionalism into the industry. Today, the association is recognized by a number of national and international travel and tourism organizations.

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Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers on Tourism (ANTWT)
The Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers on Tourism was established in the latter half of the 1990s.  Their mission statement is “to criticize as the case maybe, promote, entertain, educate and engage in agenda setting to put the drivers of the industry on the right track, on developing the tourism industry to its desired potentialities through publication of activities of the tourism and its allied sectors, players in the tourism industry etc.” One of the things the association does is to set the agenda on tourism. They write on topical issues, criticizing or praising individuals and groups with the aim of sanitizing the sector.

National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP)
The National Association of Tour Operators as the name suggests, is the national body for all tour operators in Nigeria. One important aim of the association is to play an advocacy role in the development of tourism policies and promotion/marketing of tourism in Nigeria. Also it aims at creating conducive environments for the tourism businesses of the members to flourish. Its main function is to regulate tour operating businesses in Nigeria.

Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN)
The Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) was established in 1996. It comprises members from allied industries such as hotels, contract catering, fast food, pubs and clubs to mention just a few. The membership is found all over the 36 states of Nigeria and the federal capital territory. According to documents of the association sighted, the main purpose of the association “…is to identify, promote and maintain the highest professional and ethical standards for management, education and training in the international hospitality and tourism industry.” The association serves as the umbrella body for all hospitality and tourism practitioners.

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. a. Identify five private agencies operating in the tourism industry in Nigeria
     b. Highlight the roles played by the agencies listed above.


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