Mr Pelu Awofeso, a travel writer, who recently toured some of the tourism sites in the South-western zone, on Monday said that the nation’s heritage sites were naturally beautiful to behold.
Awofeso told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the sites were attractive enough based on their natural endowment to command the attention of local and international tourists.
According to him, their attraction will enable visitors and guests to appreciate God the more.
NAN reports that the travel writer had visited Olumo Rocks, Alake and Alaafin’s Palaces, Ogun Dam and Idanre Hills.
Others are the Olumirin Waterfalls, Igbara Oke Petroglyphs, Ado Awaye Hanging Lake, Centenary Building and National Museum (Abeokuta Branch).
Awofeso, who toured the heritage sites in eight days, suggested that resorts should be built around some of them.
He said this would make them more lively and afford more tourists the opportunity of visiting and be well-entertained.
“My aim of embarking on the tour is to make Nigerians know that there are several adventurous places that are hidden within the country.
“Instead of Nigerians travelling abroad; I intend to inform, educate and enlighten them about the tourism opportunities that exist in holiday-making, travelling for leisure for individuals and families.
“ That is why I kept updating my friends on the different social media platforms, while on the journey, and I was quite excited that a lot of people had learnt some things.
“We should have resorts and fun activities established around most of our heritage sites, that people can have other forms of entertainment around.”
Awofeso canvassed the distribution of souvenirs at heritage sites, which tourists can go away with after visiting; this will serve as remembrance for such tourists later in life.
He said that Nigerians must cultivate the attitude of learning to know more about the tourism potentialities in the country.
He said that many people could earn a living from investing in some tourism value chain.
Awofeso advised Nigerians to recreate and have their leisure within the country, because there were several places of excitement which they had not taken time to explore.
“Nigeria has a whole lot of attractive sites which are naturally endowed; this makes our tourism industry unique.
“We should cultivate the habit of exploring our sites here; when we do this, we should share our experiences with others through our social media platforms.
“Several other people will be aware and these sites will be gaining more publicity,” he said.
Awofeso said that just like Nollywood and music, which initially suffered some setback before they finally gained government and private investors’ support, the tourism industry should not be left out.
He urged the three tiers of government to work tirelessly to make the tourism industry a money spinner for the country.
By Taiye Baiyerohi