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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Read why this hotel chain ordered the removal of Bibles from its rooms !

Budget hotel chain Travelodge has been taking flak for its decision to remove bibles from all rooms, citing reasons of 'diversity'.

Travelodge, which has over 500 properties nationwide, has been gradually removing bibles from guest bedrooms and now only provides them for guests to borrow from reception.

A Travelodge spokesman said the decision was based on customer research and the 'fact that we live in a multi-cultural society'.

The hotel chain said the decision was taken back in 2007 and has been 'gradually implemented' over the following years.

Travelodge said guests can request a copy of the bible at a Travelodge hotel reception.

The policy has been described as 'tragic and bizarre' by Church of England officials.

Recently the US Navy overturned an earlier decision to remove Gideon Bibles from Navy base lodges and guest rooms after a backlash from Christian groups.

It had been asked to remove bibles from rooms by atheist organisation Freedom from Religion Foundation.

FFRF also wants to see 'bible-free' rooms at privately run hotels and motels.

Friday, 29 August 2014

You must watch this video !

You must watch this video

Man, bags 15 months for abusing Air Hostess

an jailed for violent behaviour on easyJet flight

A man has been jailed for 15 months for hurling abuse at easyJet cabin crew and attacking a police officer who was called by the worried Captain.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday that Michael Warrilow was returning from a trip to Amsterdam on October 21 to Liverpool John Lennon Airport when he turned on cabin staff.

A report in the Liverpool Echo said prosecutors told the court that Warrilow, from Kirkdale, had began 'rummaging around in the flight attendants trolley' and when she told him not to replied: "Drop the f***ing attitude."

As the plane came into land, he was asked to pick up a packet of crisps he had dropped on the floor, and again swore at the crew, saying 'I'm not a f***ing dog, especially not your f***ing dog'.

After another altercation with a male member of the crew, police were called but when an officer tried to arrest Warrilow he struggled so much he broke the policeman's thumb and ligaments.

It took three people to get him into a van and then he began head butting the cage.

The officer who he injured had to undergo a course of surgery and take sick leave.

After first denying the offences, two weeks before his trial Warrilow pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, a public order offence and two charges under the civil aviation act.

The court heard that Warrilow, of Fonthill Road, had 65 previous convictions including disorderly behaviour, resisting police, battery, burglary, assault and affray.

His defence lawyer, Nick Cockrell, said Warrilow was trying to find a job but was struggling with his record.

The Liverpool Echo reported that the Judge Andrew Menary, QC, jailed Warrilow for 15 months, saying: "Your offences and the injury to the police constable were the culmination of a quite appalling episode of violent aggressive and intimidating behaviour displayed by you toward cabin crew of the easyjet flight.

"It must have been intimidating and threatening not just to the cabin crew but other passengers nearby. Travelling on an aeroplane is stressful enough without passengers behaving as you were behaving.

"Travelling on an aeroplane places a special responsibility on passengers to behave. Everyone is placed in a small area high above the ground."

Read how a Pilot and Steward fought inside the plane before take off !

A flight was delayed for six hours after its pilot and a cabin crew member got into a fight just before the aircraft was due to take off.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines' plane was evacuated and more than 150 passengers were taken to a transit hall in Cairo International airport while officials separated the captain and steward after an argument turned violent.

The flight was grounded for six hours before the passengers were put back on the plane bound for Saudi Arabia.

The steward was treated at the airport for hand injuries and the pilot suffered an eye injury and was transported to hospital, reports the Daily Mail.

"The fight took place as the plane was about to take off," said Col Mutaz Youssef, duty head of the airport police.

The cause of the fight is unknown.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Passengers shun Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines flights are being left with rows of empty seats as passengers stay away from the beleaguered company in the wake of the MH370 and MH17 disasters.
One picture from a Malaysia Airlines plane earlier this month showed row upon row of vacant seats.
Australian Leanne Marotta said she took the picture on August 14, as the airline struggles to regain passengers' confidence.
Days later, Masterchef winner Wan Ping Coombes tweeted a picture of her and her family in an empty business class section as she flew to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines.
The company has suffered two huge disasters over the last six months.
Despite a major international search operation the passenger jet has never been found, and Malaysia Airlines has been criticised over its handling of the crisis.
Then in July, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot out of the sky as it flew over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
The international investigation into the disaster is also continuing.
Since then, not only have passenger numbers fallen but staff have also been deserting their employer.
186 Malaysia Airlines flight crew quite their positions between January and July - many of them because of family pressure not to fly after the crashes.
And today it's been reported that a quarter of the airline's 19,500 staff face losing their jobs ahead of a restructuring plan the unprofitable company is expected to announce by the end of this week. Route cuts and a change of leadership are also expected in the plan.
The firm will also announce its second-quarter results, with plunging ticket sales and heavy losses predicted. Earlier this month, the airline suspended its shares.
Nik Huslan, the airline's former chief pilot, said: "MAS is suffering from an image problem and a problem with the staff.

See boy 18,slashed to death by 8- gang men

A teenager who was hacked to death by a vicious gang mob was targeted after he survived an earlier "punishment slashing" with a machete, it emerged today.
Jonjo Highton, 18, was set upon by eight men who stabbed and slashed him around the head and body outside his home.
He was pronounced dead at the scene after a fatal stab wound to the neck.
Seven men from Preston aged between 19 and 27 are being questioned in connection with the attack.
But today police confirmed the teenager suffered another vicious attack last year when he was "whacked" with a large hunting knife on hist buttocks and backs of his thighs.
Cavendish Press

Two men are currently serving a total of 16 years for the attack which left bones exposed.
Police now fear the killing could be linked to a renewed outburst of feuding between gangs from the Avenham and Moor Park areas of Preston.
Detective Superintendent Eddie Thistlethwaite of Lancashire Police said: "This has been an absolute tragedy for an 18 year old boy and his family.

"Jonjo was injured previously just over a year ago, people were prosecuted for that offence and I'm determined that people will be prosecuted for this brutal offence as well.
"I believe this is a case of young people involved in different groups and like to encourage people to move away from that there is an alternative life for young people they don't need to go down this route.
"We are investigating all such offences all possible motives. At the minute i believe it was a group of people that know each other but we are looking at all other options as well."
Jonjo was attacked in June last year after yobs from the Avenham swore revenge on the Moor Park following the beating of a convicted drug dealer who spent a week in hospital after being attacked by a group of men who set a dog on him and hit him with a brick as he walked home from a Caribbean carnival.
The attack was seen as a "slight" on Avenham as a whole and Jonjo who lived in Moor Park was targeted in revenge last year.
Cavendish PressThe teenager was cycling near his home when was confronted by a gang of four men who drew up in a Ford Focus.Jonjo tried to ride away but as made a phone call was was struck to the jaw, knocking him to the floor.Before he was able to disentangle himself from his bike, the attackers swooped on him and rained kicks and punches around his body.A group of schoolchildren sat on a nearby doorstep watched as the attackers produced the machete then repeatedly slashed the victim.
At the time Jonjo was left critically injured with deep wounds to his legs, arms, buttocks and back but he recovered from his ordeal and was able to walk again having undergone plastic surgery for his injuries.
He declined to testify against his attackers.
In November last year Shaun Tyer, then 33, and Dylan Cornwell, then 17, both admitted wounding with intent.
Tyrer, got eight and half years and Cornwell got seven and a half years.
A third man was cleared.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Five ways to treat bloated tummy !

Irritable bowel syndrome

Could be the cause if: You’ve been bloated on and off for a long time and have also experienced symptoms including pain, constipation and/or ­bouts of diarrhoea.
A common bowel condition, IBS is a functional disorder, which means there’s nothing wrong with the structure of the bowel itself, but the way the gut works is abnormal.
Peter Whorwell, professor of ­medicine and ­gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, says: “We think the gut is over-sensitive in IBS sufferers so its normal ­processes cause the symptoms.”
Bloating is one of the most ­disruptive side effects of IBS. Some women go up a couple of dress sizes and even need different clothes ­depending on whether or not they are ­bloated.
For many, it tends to worsen ­towards the evening, so it can ­disrupt your social life.
There’s no cure for IBS, but you can ­manage the symptoms.
“Cutting out cereal fibre eases symptoms by between 30% and 40% in the majority of ­sufferers,” says Professor Whorwell.
This means avoiding ­wholemeal bread, oats, muesli, digestive biscuits, cereal bars and all breakfast cereals other than Rice Krispies, but white bread, cakes, cream crackers and most biscuits are fine.
Try doing this for three months to see if it helps. Probiotics may also ease symptoms. Try Activia yoghurts, as the probiotic strain they contain has been shown to help IBS.
You could also try a ­supplement such as BioCare Acidophilus (£20.90 for 60 capsules,, and it’s worth seeing your GP.
Doctors can prescribe medication for you, such as anti-spasmodics, laxatives and ­anti-diarrhoeals.
“There’s no problem taking ­laxatives and anti-diarrhoeals in the long term if you have IBS,” adds Professor Whorwell.


Could be the cause if: You are ­passing a lot of wind, but don’t notice any other symptoms.
We all experience flatulence from time to time – it’s perfectly normal to do so up to 15 times a day – and ­sometimes you may not even notice that you are doing it.
While there’s no medical definition of excessive flatulence, if it’s ­bothering you and makes life ­awkward or feels ­uncomfortable, there are steps you can take to reduce it.
Try cutting down on foods that are high in ­non-absorbable carbs. ­Common culprits include beans and pulses, broccoli, cabbage, prunes and apples, and foods containing the sugar ­substitute sorbitol.
These tend to be digested very slowly and can release small amounts of sulphur gas while they pass through the gut. ­
Nutrition consultant Ian Marber says: “Eat food slowly and ­remember to chew. Without chewing, food is more likely to pass into the gut partially broken down and there’s a ­higher chance it will ferment and produce gas.”
Be aware that, ­occasionally, an underlying health condition – ­including those that are listed here – could also be causing flatulence.

Young woman taking a supplement

Coeliac disease

Could be the cause if: You often feel tired; you’ve lost weight for no ­apparent reason; you are suffering from ­abdominal pain.
Coeliac disease is an adverse ­reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye and all foods containing them – everything from pasta and bread to pies and some gravies and sauces.
It is an autoimmune ­condition where the body mistakes substances in gluten for a threat and attacks them, leading to damage to the surface of the small bowel, which then ­affects your ability to absorb nutrients from food.
It used to be mainly ­diagnosed in children, but it’s now known people can go undiagnosed into middle age.
If you have these ­symptoms, see your ­doctor and ask to have a blood test for coeliac disease. ­National Institute for Health and Clinical ­Excellence guidelines state that anyone with bloating and other IBS-type symptoms should be tested for it.
If you’re diagnosed, you’ll feel better once you start avoiding all foods ­containing gluten.
For more information about it visit

Hormonal fluctuations

Could be the cause if: You are ­premenstrual or in the early stages of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, and just before your period, levels of the hormone progesterone are raised.
This can slow down gut motility or movement, which means food passes more slowly through the body, leading to bloating and possibly constipation.
But you can beat the bloat. Exercise can help improve gut motility and walking for 30 minutes a day could be enough to make the difference.
Also, drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains to avoid constipation.

Ovarian cancer

Could be the cause if: Bloating is persistent and you have other ­symptoms such as a perpetual ­feeling of fullness and abdominal pain.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be quite vague, which is often why it’s diagnosed late when it’s harder to treat, so it’s important to be aware of potential signs.
Target Ovarian Cancer chief ­executive Annwen Jones says: “Key symptoms are bloating that is ­persistent rather than coming and going and increased abdominal size. Look out for ­persistent and frequent abdominal pain, ­difficulty eating and urinary symptoms.
“It’s unlikely your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it’s important to be checked out.”

Man caught having sex with mattress !

A man has been arraigned  in court accused of having sex with a mattress.
A PSNI sergeant told a special sitting of the Magistrate’s Court in Derry that he found the convicted sex offender, naked from the waist down, watching porn on a handheld DVD player and having simulated sex with a mattress in the car park of an old peoples’ home in the city in the early hours of Saturday.
Martin Gregory Coll, 52, of no fixed abode, appeared in court charged with two offences linked to the alleged incident.
He is charged with committing indecent behaviour in the car park at Lavery Fold Old Peoples’ Home at Asylum Road. The defendant is further charged with “committing an act of lewd, obscene and disgusting nature and of outraging public decency by watching pornography in a public place and with having simulated sex with a mattress while naked”.
The police sergeant told District Judge Peter King that the defendant, who was given a suspended sentenced last week for stealing three charity boxes from the Translink bus depot offices at Foyle Street in Derry, was observed entering the rear car park of the old peoples’ home by police officers at 5am on Saturday.
He added: “He went to the rear car park which is used by staff and by residents. Officers went to check and when they arrived they heard what they described as sex sounds emanating from behind a fence in the car park. He had a handheld DVD player with the volume turned loud.
“He was laying on a mattress naked from the waist down with his trousers and underwear down by his ankles and he was simulating sex with the mattress. A number of residents in the old peoples’ home were awake at the time but they did not want to make a statement to the police.”
District Judge King said the defendant had 72 previous convictions. He remanded Coll, who is already the subject of a Sexual Offender’s Prevention Order, in custody until Thursday of this week.
Last week in the same court a barrister told resident District Judge Barney McElholm that the defendant was unable to obtain hostel accommodation because of the nature of his criminal record, which included four convictions for sexual offences.
Mr McElholm said the case of the homeless Coll highlighted the need for a half-way accommodation system for released prisoners. He imposed a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Alaafin lauded Jonathan on Sally appointment as DG, NTDC

Alaafin lauded Jonathan on Sally appointment as DG, NTDC
The Aalafin of Oyo , Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi has lauded the President of Nigeria , Dr Goodluck Jonathan for the appointment of Mrs Sally Mbanefo as the Director General , Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation , NTDC .by the Presisent of
Oba Adeyemi who made this observation while welcoming Mrs Mbanefo and her entourage to this year's World Shango Festival held in his palace in Oyo , said that " For the first time in this nation , President Jonathan has given the tourism sector an intelligent appointee who knows her onions and sequentially pursues her vision according to the transformation agenda of the President in alliance with national aspiration. Mrs Mbanefo matches her words with deeds. She envisioned domestic tourism and here she is attending Shango festival . She was in Ile - Ife and in Idanre for Mare festival and she will be leaving for Osun Osogbo.Thus so far she has displayed a robust sense of responsibility at her duty post "
Oba Adeyemi disclosed " With no iota of equivocation or perambulation , I must say that Mrs Mbanefo has performed creditably well as NTDC , DG within a year of her assumption of office . I have quietly read almost all the articles and news of her . I have followed hers strides and acts and I realized that she is a passionate lady who is determined to achieve where her predecessors failed. She is on the right frame . And I commend President Jonathan for her appointment "
The Monarch counselled the NTDC boss not to be distracted by snide comments and remarks saying that " Your strides and achievements may be anathema to some and you don't expect those who have been challenged by your 

750,000 tourists / investors storm Jeddah for Summer Festival !

Jeddah’s summer festival attracted more than 750,000 guests to this Saudi Arabian city this year, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The festivals, which had been organized by the Jeddah Municipality, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), played a vital role in reviving tourism in the area.
Investors are eying Jeddah’s downtown historical area thanks to the high turnout of visitors during Ramadan and the summer season.
Several businessmen have reportedly been considering opening cafes and restaurants following the successful run of festivals and events held in the area.
Shops and eateries vastly benefited from the visitor influx, describing it as a pleasant surprise as they get ready to welcome thousands of pilgrims coming for Haj.
The festivals, which had been organized by the Jeddah Municipality, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), played a vital role in reviving tourism in the area, recently dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Both local and foreign tourists frequented the area, which needs to be made more family-friendly, according to experts.
For many Jeddah residents, the area helps foster business activity with pilgrims, who bring with them items from their home countries to sell.
Umrah and Haj pilgrims also hunt for souvenirs and gifts to take back home to their loved ones despite the fact that most of these items are available locally.
Pilgrims spend an estimated SR800 million on gold and SR8 billion on gifts annually, according to local media.

Read how every 6 tourists create one job in Nepal.

Nepal: Every 6 tourists create one jobNepal - Every six tourists create one job in Nepal and the tourism industry provides poor communities better access to revenues generated by the tourism market, said the Tourism Employment Survey 2014 unveiled by the Tourism Ministry on Thursday. This is the first ever survey of the tourism industry conducted in Nepal.
The study, based on 192 tourism establishments in 10 districts, showed that 797,616 tourist arrivals in Nepal led to jobs for 138,148 persons. The survey was conducted between May and June. “The ratio of tourist visits and employment generated suggests that one job was generated from every six tourist visits over a year’s period,” the survey said. However, Nepal’s tourism employment trend is much lower than the estimate of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which states that the entry of one tourist into a particular country provides employment to 12 people. “The survey has not taken into account the informal sector and is purely linked with the total arrivals and their outcome in the industry,” said Sharad Kumar Sharma, chief statistician at the ministry.
The figure revealed by the survey is also lower than the employment figure estimated by the Economic Survey 2013 which states that the tourism industry has generated 178,000 direct jobs.
“The tourism survey conducted for the first time in Nepal has given a real picture of the jobs created by the industry as there was no scientific basis to calculate the employment scenario,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint secretary at the ministry. “It will indeed help planners and policymakers to find out the real contribution of the tourism industry and take the necessary initiatives to make the industry more vibrant.”
The survey said that more than half (58 percent) of all the employees in the tourism industry were Janajati, 33 percent were Brahmin/Kshetri, 5 percent were Dalit and 3 percent were Tarai/Madhesi. Around 19 percent of the employees were highly skilled.
Women’s engagement in the tourism industry was nominal. Around 20 percent of the employees were female while 78 percent had secondary or a higher level of education. Almost 47 percent had completed intermediate level of education.
The survey said that 24 percent were only seasonal employees while 76 percent were regular employees. Most of the employees in the industry were young. According to the survey, 68 percent of the workforces was between 20 to 40 years of age.
In terms of salary, 37 percent of the workers received Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per month while another 37 percent earned Rs 20,000 monthly. The survey showed that 26 percent of the employees were paid less than Rs 10,000 per month. The proportion of employees earning more than Rs 20,000 per month was the highest among trekking agencies (83 percent) followed by domestic airlines and international airlines.
“None of the employees in international airlines received less than Rs 10,000 per month while none of the employees in home-stay establishments received more than Rs 20,000 per month,” the survey said.
The trekking sector was the largest employer in the tourism industry followed by tourist standard hotels, travel agencies, star hotels and international airlines.
Similarly, the survey showed that 1,636 trekking agencies provided 50,004 jobs, 625 tourist standard hotels provided jobs to 26,808 people, 2,112 travel agencies provided employment to 25,238 people and 105 star-rated hotels employed 13,459 persons. Likewise, the 29 international and 15 domestic airlines operating in the country employed 12,822 and 5,903 persons respectively. Similarly, 226 home-stay establishments employed 2,738 people, 49 rafting companies employed 735 people and 60 paragliding and ultra-light companies employed 440 persons.
Data was collected from 192 tourism establishments located in Jhapa, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Chitwan, Kavre, Kaski, Banke, Kailali and Rupandehi districts.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sexy ,sexy ,sexy life in Las Vegas !


Those who do not enjoy “the chase,” Las Vegas’ sex tourism does offer sex tourists a risqué alternative to bars/clubbing. I have found that Spearmint Rhino isn’t the one that is getting mentioned in review sites (such as Yelp) as places to go for sex tourists visiting Sin City. Vegas is home to world-famous swingers clubs (like Power Exchange, Red Rooster and The Green Door) and bathhouses (Entourage). At these high-risk venues, skipping pleasantries and anonymous sex is part of the allure. But, I strongly recommend to at least get a name.
Part of my research was a visit to a testing facility for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), where I met a woman, who had a significant story to tell. She was at least over the age of 50 and admitted to having been a patron of The Green Door. She had just tested positive for an STD, which she claimed she contracted from a younger man at famous swingers club. Acting on her “Cougar impulses,” she said she trusted the younger guy. “I should have known that he was too good to be true,” she said regrettably.
Consequently, she was now faced with a situation that was “not worth the trouble” because not only is she is married; her STD could have been prevented. “Protect and don’t infect” may not sound familiar to those who don’t have any sexually transmittable disease, but I have heard it uttered several times during the course of my research. It is basic common sense to use protection during sex, let alone in high-risk situations in destinations as sexually charged Vegas. In Sin City, the very mouth you might be kissing may belong to someone who has a urine fetish (sexually turned on by drinking a partner’s urine). But, that’s another story.
In my investigation, I have found that, if prompted to choose, most people chose sex over gambling and drinking alcohol. The probability that a Vegas tourist will pick sex over gambling and/or drinking is as predictable as it is expected. Sex in Sin City is guaranteed fun unlike gambling and clubbing, which can both have unpredictable endings. In Vegas, the supply and demand for sex is predictably high at any given time everyday. As one person puts it: “You can never have too much fun.” By fun, he really meant sex.
Tourists seeking to have a fling (or flings) with someone they meet in Sin City and not someone they are travelling with him or her is another type of a Vegas sex tourist. This sex tourist is open-minded enough and is willing to push limits to live up to the sex in Sin City hype. Sex workers “Monica” and “Selena,” both transsexuals, claim that they both have had heterosexual men clients who fit this type of a Vegas sex tourist. I call them the “trysexuals.”
These clients come from different walks of life – some are married or have a girlfriend, some in the military, bartenders, VIP club hosts, bodybuilders, athletes, young and old, to name just a few. This finding is corroborated by ads on websites like Craigslist and Backpage which offer yet, another shocking truth: the demand for transsexuals and transgendered sex partners is very high in Las Vegas.
What gives? As “Selena” puts it, many tourists come to Vegas to live out sexual fantasies that they would not otherwise act up on in their hometown. These Vegas sex tourists “enjoy being with a transgendered or a transsexual “woman” because they have “the sexual drive of a man but look like women.” Clearly, this is good enough reason for many Vegas sex tourists to come to Sin City.
Next up in the series: To really break it down, I have found that there are only two types of sex in Sin City to be had. There are indeed many “options,” but those options fall under two categories. What are they? Find out in the next installment to my Sex in Sin City series.
I invite you to share your thoughts as part of the research on this issue by sending me an email via the address: Your contribution will be kept confidential and is greatly appreciated.

Read what Sally Mbanefo , DG , NTDC said about President Jonathan !

Jonathan has done a fantastic job on the transformation agenda —NTDC DG
 24.Aug.2014  DISQUS_COMMENTS  
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The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, was at the Tribune headquarters on a courtesy visit in Ibadan on Thursday. She spoke with ABIODUN AWOLAJA on her vision for Nigeria in the tourism industry, President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda and allied issues. Excerpts:
ONE of the things you were saying when you come came in as NTDC Director General was that if we were talking about tourism, we Nigerians ourselves needed to understand and appreciate what is here…
How did you come about that concept?
Well, it is from the point of view of being a simple Nigerian who believes that patriotism is the beginning of everything.  If you look at a country like America, a president got to be president without ever leaving America. You find out that domestic tourism has thrived in a country like that where the people are so proud to travel within their own country, and that is enough to satisfy them, and they need not go out.
Of course, other things can take you out there to broaden your horizon but the fact is that a country like America has boosted and developed its domestic tourism to the extent that people are proud to live within their country and explore it with pride, and go out and talk about it to other people. Then, you export your culture. That is what drives it. For example, today, we are talking of Sango festival. Sango has been exported to 43 countries of the world.
Are you sure about this?
I am telling you. The Alaafin of Oyo sent emissaries to me twice, a whole delegation, to talk to me about the importance of the Sango festival to the Yoruba people, and that is why I am here today (Thursday) to come and open the event. They said they would not open it until I showed up.
Now, my reaching out to all the local governments, state governments and traditional rulers is paying off because they are embracing my visits.
Never has somebody from the Federal Government come to show respect. I don’t just come to attend the festival, no. I come to show respect and to recognise them as the custodians of our tradition and culture. And if we are talking about domestic tourism and I want to encourage Nigerians to visit Nigeria and spend vacation Nigeria, it is important that we go and visit the people who are the custodians of our tradition to tell us exactly what is available.
What has been your experience while, meeting with them?
The experience has been wonderful. It’s been an amazing experience for me personally as a Nigerian and as the DG of the NTDC. I’ve been able to learn so much about different parts of Nigeria because I’ve been to the North, South, East and West.
In a year, I touched all these areas. It’s been very enriching; highly educative. But at the same time, it has also given me a very good idea of what needs to be done. Every state I go to, they are very eager to show me, “This is where we need you to help us to develop.’’
Like when I went to Osun, the Ooni of Ife, the Tourism commissioner the local government chairman brought me to the shrine of Moremi which no longer existed. They said “we need you as a federal agent to help us to develop it.’’
Last night, I was also talking with the chairman of the tourism board of Oyo State and he was telling me about a very famous woman from Oyo. She’s like the equivalent of Moremi, very revered…
Efunsetan Aniwura?
Yes. He spoke to me about Efunsetan.
So, these visits highlight to me what they need, because in some of the states we go, they are quite well developed, but then, they have some things that they are very passionate about and which nobody has been able to recognise. They need us to support and help them to develop them.
During the 2013 Mare Festival in Ondo, you were saying that the NTDC would partner with Ondo State to promote tourism sites. What is the update on that?
The update on that is that we are now doing sensitisation and advocacy. The most important thing about tourism is awareness. And that is where we need you, the press, to practice what you call developmental journalism. Cable News Network (CNN) is carrying only our slums; you have never seen CNN showing our skyscrapers.  You have never seen these beautiful offices that we have. The  University College Hospital, Ibadan, I understand, even has a state-of-the-art geriatric section for old people, and so many other things.
 Ondo State has a fantastic medical tourism platform. Nobody talks about these things. Why should we go to India for medical treatment? Why should we go to India, why should we go to America, and why should we go to South Africa to have our children? I had all my three children in Nigeria and they came out perfectly well. I know somebody who went to America at the same time I went to deliver in the East. She spent 38 hours in labour. I spent one hour in a Nigerian hospital and was home the same day.
So, you find that Nigeria has so much to offer and we need to be able to talk about them.
Nollywood is going all over the world. Is NTDC partnering with it?
Absolutely. Six months ago, I had to give a talk to the Nollywood team. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is quite successful in three major areas. One of them is religious tourism, the second part is business tourism.
Why religious tourism with all these Boko Haram attacks?
People don’t care. There are safe parts; the South is very safe. Lagos is safe, Ibadan is safe. I slept with my windows open last night. I don’t have any fears.
Isreal has its own Boko Haram, but you know that Israel has the best religious tourism in the world today. Countries that are sophisticated—Isreal, America, United Kingdom—and even Egypt, Kenya and South Africa have challenges. With all their sophistication, technology for security, they’ve been dealing with terrorism for years.
In 1946, Israel began to deal with terrorism when the first hotel in Jerusalem was bombed. The United Kingdom, for good 25 years, has been dealing with terrorism. America, with all its sophistication, was shocked when the twin towers were bombed.
So, can anyone really be prepared for terrorism? Yet, tourism continues in those states; they have what you call tourism police. That’s our job: We work in collaboration with Immigration and the Nigeria Police.
What do tourism police do?
They would be the ones to guide and let people know the right areas available for tourism.
Any plan to have that in Nigeria?
We plan to have that. You see, the first six months after I came into office, the most important thing for me was collaboration, building bridges, mending burnt bridges as well as creating partners for things like this. We are partnering with aviation.
In fact, the new aviation minister has already asked that a space be provided for us as an information desk, within 24 hours of meeting with him.
You were talking about a talk you gave to Nollywood people. What about it?
Yes, first things first. We have to first lay the foundation; we can’t jump and start promising people, “come and see Nigeria,’’ and when they come here, they are disappointed. It is wrong. Marketing externally is the last.
First, you market your own people; we would be our own guinea pigs and test our own tourism sites. If we are enjoying  them, they ( foreign tourists) would come in naturally.
Talking about Nollywood, I gave a talk to them and one of the things I said was that religious tourism, business tourism, entertainment tourism and Nollywood are our most successful tourism assets.
But it has been organically developed; nobody in government made an effort. But we are lucky in that the current president has supported them financially. He has made available, a pool of funds. That is a very practical approach by the president.
But they say that it is difficult to access the funds. How do you react to that?
The documentation and paperwork process has to be done properly. You have to ensure that the funds are used for the right things. What we’ve discussed in Nollywood is that by the time we have improved on our tourism sites to the level that it is good enough to invite external people, we would like Nollywood (practitioners) to shoot their films at our tourism sites. They would go and shoot in Tinapa, go and shoot in Ondo at the Mare festival etc.
Is that for export?
Of course it is for export. Apart from just selling our culture, you are selling our tourism assets, because the culture is from the movie itself and the location is our tourism site.
We also want the musicians to do the same: shoot their videos at our tourism sites. Right now, they can shoot, if you go to Enugu, if you go to Ondo State. Yesterday, we went to a beautiful park here in Ibadan, Agodi, an amazing park. I mean, I, properly, was in Ibadan in the 80s. This is a revolutionised Ibadan. Ibadan is modern.
Are you saying that we do not appreciate what we have?
We don’t yet, because awareness has not been created. That is why I am harping on domestic tourism. How many Nigerians can afford to travel abroad? Out of 170 million people, less than 10 per cent can afford to travel abroad. Tourism is not for the elitist; it is for the grassroots. And why are we talking about domestic tourism? Three, four or five reasons. One, we want to empower the grassroots. Two, we want to create jobs in the local communities. If five people are working in a tourism site, and people come from outside the locality to explore the tourism site, you have to employ more people to attend to them. So, automatically, jobs are created. You know what I mean.
Then, that would reduce rural-urban migration. We want to reduce urban migration. If you reduce urban migration, what are the people going to the cities to do? They are going there to look for jobs, but if you can create jobs for people in the local communities, then, there is no need for people to run around.
Foreigners bring in money. How do we generate money in domestic tourism? Is it that we have enough money to go around within Nigeria?
What I want to say about money right now is that I would like to talk about the transformation agenda of Mr President. He has done a fantastic job on the genda. One of the most important, mind-blowing achievements is the power sector. The power question is directly responsible for the cost of hotels in Nigeria. This is the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, with the conversion of power through the whole value chain from the public sector straight to the private sector has been finalised and concluded.
Nigeria is the first country to do it; there’s nowhere in the world where it has been done like that. Now, what is the effect of that? This is what I call the tourism value chain. The tourism value chain means that tourism is not on its own; everything touches tourism. If the president improves on power, the cost of hotels would crash. Everybody asks me when I go for interviews: “Why are Nigerian hotels more expensive than those in the rest of Africa? That (power) is the reason. The hoteliers are buying diesel and pass the cost to the customers. That is one reason.
Transportation is part of the value chain. The roads are working. Even the rail is working. The rail from Kano to Lagos is working. When did it last work? Transportation is key to tourism. You find that we must key ourselves into the transformation agenda. Look at the airports. Airports are the first touch point for tourists. For 52 years, no airport was renovated in Nigeria. Kano Airport has now been renovated, Enugu Airport has been renovated, Owerri Airport has been renovated. These are things being done to prepare infrastructure for us to do our work.
So, the transformation agenda is going on very well and it is helping us in what we are doing.
What are you doing at the lower school, that is primary and secondary school levels, to let youngsters know about the potentialities in tourism?
As a matter of fact, I got an award from Yoruba youths, because we have been reaching out, going to schools and talking to them that we want tourism to be part of their curriculum. As part of subjects that they must pass, let the youths go on bus trips. We would be part of it and the private sector would be communicated with to provide the funding.
So, that is what we are talking to them about. The Yoruba youths have given me a very big award; even the Delta youths. Again, advocacy and awareness are what is important, and we need the press to help us to do that.
Tourism involves things that may not immediately bring in money, but the private sector people always like to put their money where they can quickly make more money in return. What have you discovered in trying to link up with the private sector?
Thank you very much. In fact, that is a fantastic question, because you are making me put the private sector on the spot. You know me: I am a private sector product. In oil and gas, I spent three years; in banking alone, I spent 22 years. In manufacturing, I was a director in Coca Cola, I was a director in Lafarge Cement. So, I’ve been a product of the private sector.
Recently, I held a meeting with Aliko Dangote. What was my value proposition? ‘I would like business moguls like you to adopt one tourism site. Once a major private sector player can adopt and develop one tourism site, the whole of the private sector would key into it.’
I told him: “You as a key player in the private sector, choose one tourism site in the North or South and invest in it. Develop it for us. As an important private sector operator, we want to follow your lead.”
So, these are the discussions that are ongoing now. I am approaching major players in the private sector, to get them to be involved in developing tourism sites, because our vision in the  the next two or three years is that we must have at least one tourism site in each zone. A place like South-West can have three or four, compared to others. The South-West is very enriched in tourism sites.
We want to be practical. If a tourist comes, we want to say: “Okay, for this zone, this site is fantastic.” We are starting with this business mogul (Dangote) just to demonstrate what can be done. That is what we are doing now.
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