By Our Correspondent
Linda Pereira, a cultural tourism packaging strategist, has advised practitioners in the global tourism industry to always create beautiful stories around cultural heritage sites to woo tourists.
Pereira gave the advice during a three-day United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) explaining the choice of Nigeria to present African culture to the world Global Conference, held at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos on Monday.
The theme for the conference is “Linking Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries: Pathway to Recovery and Inclusive Development”.
Pereira, during a workshop on the importance of cultural heritage, said that such beautiful stories must be authentic, real, unique, educational, of special interest, experiential and of cultural immersion.
She explained that the stories must encompass the past, present and the reason for a tour should always be made known to any tourist.
According to her, the features of a cultural heritage site must be relayed to tourists and intending tourists to spur their interest to visit those sites more.
“It is all about giving our heritage sites some life, stories must be told by someone who understands a particular site, it is fundamental.
“Tourists can easily be connected to sites through the quality of stories relayed.
“We are predicting a 21 per cent growth in cultural tourism since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this is an aspect to be taken seriously.
“Tourists’ interest in visiting a cultural heritage site can be spurred in different ways, by giving vouchers to eat in some local restaurants, to watch movies in a cinema and more.
” You should bear in mind that everyone with an enquiry mind is your target,” she said.
Pereira noted that Africa is well endowed with enormous cultural heritage sites which must be focused on for wealth creation.
She advised that sustainable products should be built around heritage sites which should be consistently improved on, modernised and updated.
She said that all cultural heritage sites must be well-positioned to create wealth and jobs for the people.
“African cultural heritage sites are capable of making Africa the destination of the decade,” she said.
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