The minister stated this while receiving members of the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria, who paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
He appealed to the Nigerian media to project a positive image of the country as a way of promoting tourism development instead of echoing the misinformation about widespread insecurity in the country.
Alh Mohammed urged the media to be wary of spreading the misinformation that 20 out of the 36 states in Nigeria are not safe, saying every Nigerian state is safe for investment and tourism.
‘’If they want to tell their people not to come to Nigeria, we do not need to help them to spread the news.
‘’You do not need to spread news about Nigeria that will hurt investment and tourism,’’ he said.
Alh Mohammed enjoined members of the Association to complement the efforts of the government in promoting the good image of the country, saying perception management and aggressive marketing are key to the promotion of tourism in Nigeria.
“I will mention an area which is dire to tourism and development. That is the area of marketing tourism. We do not market tourism enough in this country. Tourism is driven by perception more than by reality. What do I mean? Today, countries that are less endowed and peaceful than Nigeria…go on CNN and Aljazeera to advertise their countries as the countries of peace and stability. We must change the perception and invest in perception management,’’ he said.
He urged leaders to do more to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria by spending their vacation in the country, as leaders in other climes do.
In his address, the National President of the Association, Kabir Mallam, hailed the minister for his uncommon commitment to repositioning tourism in Nigeria.