In line with its strategic global networking drive, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has joined the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) as an Associate Member.
With this, the NTDC which is the official tourism organization for Nigeria has recorded another milestone as its membership makes Nigeria the first and only West African country to be accepted into USTOA.
The corporation is responsible for developing and facilitating tourism resources within Nigeria, as well as promoting inbound tourism from around the world to Nigeria, "the Pride of Africa."
Nigeria Tourism's acceptance into USTOA comes as no surprise, as its goals match up aptly with the USTOA's. As stated in the USTOA 2013 annual directory, Associate Membership invitations are "extended to responsible industry and governmental entities and organizations whose interests and purposes are compatible with those of USTOA, which is to encourage and support professional and financial integrity in tourism and in the future of the travel industry."
With spectacular nature, unique wildlife, world-class golf courses, and a multitude of leisure activities and accommodations options, the country, which is most populous West Africa coastal nation, is primed to welcome tourists from the U.S. and around the world.
Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director General of the NTDC said Nigeria also offers a vast cultural heritage from one of the primary sources of the African Diaspora, adding that visitors to the country can immerse themselves in the destination's culture and history, and African Americans may be able to trace their heritage to Nigeria.
"We are excited to join USTOA and for the opportunity to be acquainted with so many reputable tour operators throughout the U. S. We look forward to welcoming tour operators, travel agents and U. S. tourists to Nigeria, where we can share with them our unique culture and legacy, along with our natural attractions and enticing activities," he added.
Otunba Runsewe traveled to the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace in Hawaii last week after intense preparations for the 40th anniversary event and met with numerous major tour operators including representatives from Abercrombie & Kent, Africa Travel, Cox & Kings, General Tours, Great Safaris, and WorldStrides.
These U.S. tour operators were delighted to meet the Director General from Nigeria Tourism and proved eager to sell the destination to the U.S. travel and tourism market.
Nigeria is also convenient to reach from the U.S., with major airlines including Delta, United, and Nigeria's own Arik Air flying directly from the U.S. to Nigeria several times a week, with more non-stop flights to Nigeria than anywhere else in West Africa and the shortest flight-time from hubs in New York (JFK), Houston (IAH) and Atlanta (ATL).
In addition, United Airlines will offer direct service on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from its Houston hub to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning January 7, 2013. "Nigeria: Our History is Your History" is a part of the integrated marketing campaign that Nigeria Tourism has launched this year and which it will continue into 2013 throughout the U.S"