Egypt at the centre of religious tourism
…NTDC Plans To Encourage Religious Tourism
Aside Jerusalem and Isreal, Egypt is a great beneficiary of religious tourism, the Head, Media Unit, Embassy of Egypt, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed has said in an Interview with The Guardian.
Egypt, which is more synonymous with arts, especially paintings and sculpture, is also at the centre of Christian religious tourism.
According to Ahmed, the influx of religious tourists accounts for substantial amount of revenue generated by both the government and the local populace who are the direct beneficiaries of the private sector operators in the industry.
“The religious tourism sites and destinations in Egypt among other places can be found in Saint Catherine Monastery and the Moses Mountain, where Moses talked to God. Most people who come for religious tourism, especially Christians go to these amazing places.
“The Christian history as it relates to Egypt makes us proud and happy people.
Ahmed added that there were other peculiar tourism assets available in the country, which has distinguished Egypt tourism products from those of the rest of the world. These include health, monuments, coastal and desert tourism.
According to him, Nigerians are also among the major visitors for health tourism in Egypt.
He said: “Aside religious tourism, we also have health tourism, which many Nigerians prefer to go for. We equally have monument tourism. Most people from across the world go there to see the ancient Egyptian history on the monuments and museums.
“Egypt also has Coastal Tourism; people go to different coastal areas including the Mediterranean Sea Coast to enjoy the sun, the sand and the good weather.
“We also have desert tourism. The beauty of the desert is alluring to many of the tourists who visit Egypt regularly to behold the White Desert, described as one of the amazing sites in the world”.
It is, however, unfortunate that Nigerian government allows billions of naira to be wasted on Spiritual tourism yearly while she watches her numerous spiritual tourist sites, waste away.
At a time of Economic crunch like this; it is imperative for Nigerian government to wake up from her slumber and explore Spiritual and religious tourism.
Country like Jerusalem, Israel and now Egypt, have continued to make fortune from Nigeria and other countries that believe in spiritual tourism.
In a telephone interview with the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo disclosed that Nigerian government has been doing much on encouraging Nigerians to explore the spiritual tourism in the country rather than just going out of the shore of this country.
According to her, places like Redemption Camp, Shiloh by the Living Faith Ministry in Ogun State and Aokpe in Benue State, attract thousands of tourists yearly. “For Instance, Aokpe in Benue State attracts no fewer than 20,000 tourists every August and November of any year”.
NTDC boss explained that her corporation has been doing much in visiting some of these sites, to encourage tourists with a view to boost the nation’s economy.
Mbanefo however, agreed that more could still be done in the area of spiritual tourism in the country. She said: we would give more encouragement to all the Spiritual and Religious tourist sites which attract more foreigners to Nigeria.
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