Thursday, August 23, 2012

‘Expect more American tourists in Nigeria’

Pic 1.

Nigerians have been told to expect a boom in the number of American tourists visiting Africa’s Giant in the Sun. This came to light during a chat between a team of Nigerians on a tourism road show in the United States and an official of a US television network based in Los Angeles, State of California.


Speaking during a tete-a-tete with a visiting delegation of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), led by Otunba Olusegun Runsewe; Mr Mark Walton of African Channel, an intercontinental TV station, revealed that Nigeria would soon experience an unprecedented boom in tourists traffic from the United States, following reports that more than 70 percent of African-Americans have discovered that their roots lay in Nigeria.


According to Mr. Waltson, the current trend in Europe and America is that countless people desirous of unravelling their behavioral pattern resort to DNA test to really understand who they are and where they forebear came from. And, the results of the majority of such texts have proven that majority of African-Americans are of Nigerian ancestry.


Walton went on to add that many African-Americans that went for DNA examination of their roots, were not only pleasantly surprised to discover that the results were in synch with the Nigerian gene; but, also proud that their ancestors hailed from the most populous Black nation on earth and that Nigeria is also blessed with phenomenal wealth just waiting to be tapped.


Walton submitted that DNA testing has fostered a new wave of awareness across the United States adding that a US Senator had already confirmed that his root could be traced to Nigeria through this indubitable scientific process.


While commending Otunba Runsewe for coming to America at this time, when things are looking up for Africa, Nigeria in particular; Walton further revealed that, following this discovery by the senator, several other respectable congressmen and distinguished personalities had also gone for DNA test; only to discover that most of them had their roots in Nigeria.

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Corroborating Walton’s assertion about the relevance of DNA tests by African-Americans to possible influx of US tourists to Nigeria, Mr Jim Holden, President African Travel Association (ATA); observed that requests for information on Nigeria by African-Americans have surged since the DNA issue popped up.


In the same vein, Mr Stephen Richer of the US National Travel Association, the umbrella body for US Travel Trade, also revealed that demand for tour packages to Africa, especially Nigeria; has risen significantly, following the DNA test fever in America. Mr. Richer, who also commended Otunba Runsewe for taking Nigeria on a US Road Show; urged the Nigerian government to gird its loins by beefing up infrastructure and and setting in motion other strategies to attract home-sick African-Americans yearning to visit Nigeria.


Taking over the microphone again, Walton stressed that the NTDC US Road Show and interest in African-American roots was the first time that a Nigerian government agency would be approaching the issue of its image and understanding of fundamental issues, using the right people and right channel at the same time.


Concluding, Walton also remarked that through this interaction and creating of awareness, his medium has been given a deeper insight into the true story of Nigeria.

Pic 1. L-R: Dr. Babs Onabanjo, CEO, ADK Foundation; Mrs. Naomi Barber King, wife of the late Alfred Daniel Williams King, younger brother of slain civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; presenting the Icon of Hope for Africa plaque to Otunba Olusegun Runsewe at Martin Luther King Centre in Atlanta, USA recently.
Pic 2. Mayor of Annapolis in Maryland, USA; Mr. Joshua Cohen, decorating NTDC DG Otunba Olusegun Runsewe with the city’s pin during a visit to the Mayor’s office.

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