Nigeria: Tourism by the Numbers

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There have been many media reports to date analyzing the potential of Nigeria to tap into bettering its economy through expanding on tourism.

Tourism is only marginally contributing to the fortunes of the country, as many that come for business travel do not take out time to actually explore the travel opportunities that Nigeria has to offer.

In 2011 the World Bank reported tourist arrivals to Nigeria as 715,000 people while 600,000 tourists visited Nigeria in 2013.

Nigerian nationals believe the loss in tourism numbers could be attributed to the exit of President Olusegun Obasanjo who created a tourism committee in his cabinet and 8 tourism friendly states. Additionally, the loss of an international airline carrier fleet in 2012 did not help matters as the numbers for arrivals in 2012 was 486,000 people.

Hungary, Iceland, and Switzerland have been among the most popular destinations for European tourists to travel. However an increasing number of European tourists are looking to diversify their travel opportunities. In 2013, based on a World Tourism Organization report, there were over 55.7 million international tourist arrivals to Africa, an increase of 5.4% over 2012.

Nigerian hoteliers are set to offer more holiday packages in Nigeria in 2016 compared to 2015. There are no accurate figures on hotels and accommodation providers in Nigeria, but practitioners are of the opinion that there are close to 11,000 or more hotels of various categories.

Contrary to the pessimistic view expressed by many in the international community who fear travel to the continent of Africa, and possibly for good reason fear a Boko Haram attack while in country; for the years of 2009 and 2010 following the insurrection of the militant group the World Bank reports the highest number of tourists entering Nigeria. With over 1.4 million tourists entering in 2009 and over 1.5 million entering in 2010.