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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Seven Wonders Project to Drive Tourism Recovery in Nigeria

The Release of the Guidelines for the Season 2 of the Naija7wonders has been touted by the Organizers as the beginning of the March to Recovery and Greatness of Tourism in Nigeria.

Naija7wonders Project is the effort by Some Nigerian Tourism Promoters to Highlight and Showcase the Huge Tourism Resources of Nigeria.

Organized by Travellers Magazine the First Travel Magazine in West Africa, this will be the second edition of The Seven Wonders of Nigeria Project. The First Edition was endorsed by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2010 and it ended in 2012.

The Former Director General of NTDC Otunba Segun Runsewe hosted the Committee to a Party in 2012 where he presented them with Medals and Certificate for helping to Promote Tourism and Travel in Nigeria.

Due to the massive negative effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism and Travel, this will be the best time to develop and Grow Brand Nigeria and Domestic Tourism hence the launch of Season 2. The Naija7wonders Project will unveil the investment Potentials of the Tourism Environment in Nigeria.

The Organizers also seeks to partner with relevant government agencies and private sector players to accomplish this huge task. Because tourism is private sector driven but supported and led hugely by Government the relevant Government Agencies have been contacted by Organizers to lend their weight in driving the project to a successful end.

As Nigeria Marks its 60th Anniversary there is a need to create a new Sense of National Pride and Develop a Communal Love for our Country. The theme of the Season 2 is taken from the Old National Anthem “though Tribe and Tongue may differ in Brotherhood we stand".

The need to get Nigerians to Love Nigeria is the main Reason for the Search for the Seven Wonders of Nigeria. To grow national pride in the brand Nigeria. Tourism is the Largest employer of labour globally and there is no reason why this should not be the same in Nigeria.

The Naija7wonders Project as it is tagged is to Select and Position some National Icons that can be promoted domestically and internationally. People do not Visit where they do not know.

The Search itself will draw the attention of Nigerians to the long Forgotten Beauties, the Often Ignored and Sometimes downgraded Phenomenal Treasures of Nigeria.

Private Sector players in the Tourism Community and Members of the Tourism 100 Club have decided to pursue this as a National Duty to Promote and Share images and destinations to all and sundry as a way of generating tourism traffic to these destinations.

The Project will last for 12 Months starting from November 2020. The Project is promoted by Travellers Magazine and the biggest travel news platform in Africa.

The first part of the project was initiated in the first weeks of June with a weekly Zoom Webinar on ‘Where to Visit in Nigeria.’ The webinar hosts 5 members every week who share their favorite destinations in Nigeria.

For 8 weeks, over 100 Destinations have been highlighted so far. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of information and Culture Deaconess Grace Gekpe and the DG of NTDC Folurunsho Coker had made appearances.

The Former Commissioner of Tourism Lagos Steve Ayorinde, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Mr. Mesewaku, Chairman of Carnival Calabar Gabe Onah, FTAN President Rabo Saleh, President of NATOP Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, President of NANTA Susan Akporiaye, Nkereuwem Onung the NATOP BOT Chairman have all Participated.

So Many High profile personalities including Government officials from Taraba, Plateau, Osun and Nassarawa States have all participated. Over 700 Travel Professionals have joined in. The first Phase is sensitization of the Tourism Professionals which is Ongoing. The Project will involve Nomination by State Governments and Stakeholders in September. Shortlist will be Unveiled in November.

Expeditions will then be organized to the Sites by Tour Operators and Media and a Public Vote will be done to select the Winners. The Tourism 100 Club Members who number up to 300 will act as Judges for the Final result.

A state or Community can nominate any Man Made Sites and Natural Sites that they want to be Shortlisted for the Search. A State or a Community can register as Many Sites that it considers a National Wonder. The search is a modest effort by Tourism Professionals to bring to life Nigeria's National Heritage and Tourism Assets.

According to the Organizers, some of the benefits of nominated locations will include:

1. Draw attention to hidden features of the Sites

2. Attract investors to the Sites

3. Increase Brand Visibility and Global Positioning of Locations and Sites

4. Grow name recognition of Sites

5. Attract more tourism from Local and Internationally

6. Cultural growth and affinity to Destinations

7. Growth and boost in Economic activities through increased Visitor traffic

8. Infrastructure development will be attracted due to Popularity of Destination.

9. Improved brand image For Surrounding Environs.

10. Global connectivity through Tourism and Travel

Guidelines for Registration of Sites for Naija7wonders Season 2

Anyone can register any Tourist attraction they think deserve to be on the Initial Shortlist.

You can register any attraction Man made or Natural. To register a Site you have to have a relationship with the Site that enables you to promote the Site and Organize an Expedition when it is needed.

1. Shortlisted Sites will get a Certificate qualifying them as Nominees in November 2020. They will be listed on Websites and Promoted to Nigerians for Selection. Promotions will be done online and Offline to Promote the Attractions.

2. After the first Selection Process in April 2021 Flags will be issued to the winners. Branded Billboards will be erected at the locations to Show that they were Shortlisted as Top 50.

All 50 Shortlisted Sites will be promoted by Organizers and Owners Online and Offline.

3. Another Round of Voting will unveil the Top25 Sites: The Top 25 Sites selected in September will have Plaques issued to them. These Special Plaques will be in Addition to Certificate, Flags and Billboards. The Top 25 Sites will Also Receive Branded Toilets and Conveniences Built for Visitors.

4. The Final Votes in November 2021/2022 will produce the Top 7 Attractions in Nigeria. The Top 7 Sites will get an Obelisk built at the Sites to signify that they are the Wonders of Nigeria.

The Top 7 Sites will receive Certificate, Flags, Billboards, Plaques, Conveniences and Obelisks. Videos and Promotional Materials will be done for them and Documentaries Raised for the Sites.

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