Stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry have reminded the media practitioners of their role in setting the records right and proper management of the image of the country as this has a great influence on tourists choice of destinations to visit and attraction of investors in the country.
Speaking at a MasterClass on Tourism Journalism for the Association Of Nigerian journalists and writers of Tourism, ANJET, the Director General of the National Institute For Tourism and Hospitality, NIHOTOUR Alhaji Nura Kangiwa said tourists tends to depend more on information from the journalists than the Tour Operators hence the need for media practitioners to play down on how they dish out negative reports about the country.
The training with the theme “” Best Practice For Journalistic Reporting of Tourism Destinations was put together by the National Institute For Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR to wet ground for it’s annual GASTRONOMY/ food festival.
Alhaji Kangiwa who charged journalists to promote more of the country’s rich Tourism Destinations and heritage pointed out that majority of holiday decisions are made by people who have never seen the destinations for themselves rather they select places to go, buy plane tickets and reserve hotel rooms based on what they have learnt from their travel agents, friends and above all from the media hence the need for the journalists to be sober if there is a scandal or any crisis within an area, rather than embarking on negative reporting , pointing out that sober reporting, has lesser negative impact on the entire region.
In a presentation entitled” Tourism Communication Bridging The Public And Private Sector Communication Gap, the Director General of the National Council For Arts And Culture Otumba Olusegun Rusewe suggested the need for training and retraining journalists abroad and urged stakeholders to stop holding back information from journalists to avoid misinformation.
A playwright, television producer and, former executive director of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr Peter Igho who did a presentation based on his experiences over the years said hotel owners have a role to play in ensuring visitors are treated right while journalists should try to promoteTourist destinations around them.
In a paper entitled Journalism Code of Ethics and Impact on Sustainable Tourism Development, Dr David Maya Dogo who said Nigerian journalists and Tourism writers are critical stakeholders in the promotion of sustainable Tourism Development in the country, urged the journalists to do write ups that will encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to visit home, Promote right attitude to environment and set agenda for national discuss on tourism.