Folorunsho Coker was appointed as Director General in March 2017. A visionary administrator, hospitality and tourism entrepreneur with years of experience, kicked off his public service career in 1999, working as the personal assistant to the Governor of Lagos State. He was elevated to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor in 2003 and was appointed as the founding MD/CEO of the Lagos State Number Plate Production Agency as additional responsibility in 2004.
In 2014, Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos State retained his services as a Special Adviser for the Central Business District in Lagos and before his appointment as the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), he served as the Lagos State Commissioner of Tourism, Arts & Culture where he established a tourism roadmap for the state that aimed to re-tell the story of Lagos through the “ONE LAGOS” brand. It was hugely successful with a very strong digital strand. The financing model was very private sector oriented and shows how government can partner with the private sector to deliver on its tourism agenda. His entrepreneurial background brings a fresh innovative perspective to tourism governance that has the potential to change approaches to supporting the tourism sector.
Upon my assumption of office, part of my mandate was to reverse the negative conversation about Nigerian Tourism, galvanize commercial tourism, promote our diverse multi-cultural heritage, innovate new channels of tourism markets whilst promoting Nigeria in a positive light and shaping a positive perception of its citizens.
The “Tour Nigeria” brand was conceived to drive domestic consumption of our tourism assets and products, create new channels of tourism markets, add to the nation’s GDP, create employment, and increase spending in the economy. The brand is an ambitious attempt at promoting tourism in Nigeria that aims to shape the narrative on Nigeria as a major destination for tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment in Africa. It will showcase the vibrant and friendly energy of Nigerians through different creative expressions, leverage on our abundant soft power to celebrate our heritage and promote our natural and cultural tourism assets, destinations and people in line with our agenda to promote domestic and regional tourism.
To quicken growth in our tourism industry, we have prepared a Tourism Development ROADMAP with short, medium and long-term objectives. We have also agreed on a strategic 5-point Action Plan to innovate our tourism and improve service delivery and effectiveness in critical sectors of the industry. The acronym for the strategic 5-point Action Plan to grow the industry is CHIEF.
The brand will leverage on the best of Nigeria. Nigerians are known to be intelligent hard-working people, we are also known for our “can-do” and “never-say-never” attitude, which is complimented with a friendly and accommodating spirit. We are proudly the most populous black nation on Earth, home to the second largest film industry on the globe whilst also being the fashion, technological and creative hub in Africa.
"There is need for conscious investment in the promotion of domestic tourism."
We appeal to everyone in the tourism value chain at the Federal, State, Local governments and the private sector to work together and be ready to drive the market with the TOUR NIGERIA brand. We are deeply confident that the brand will strengthen the ties that bind Nigerians to each other and to the rest of Africa. On this note we seek your collaboration and partnership for this launch. Let us partner in redefining Nigeria as the heartbeat of Africa as we invite Nigerians to “Tour Nigeria”.