VIRTUAL TOURISM – MADE IN NIGERIA
(Posted 18th December 2019)
(The ATCNews publisher seen with Femi Lawson of ‘Virtual Africa’)
Visitors to Nigeria are not ordinarily expected to be leisure tourists but thought to come for business, trade and conferences.
Subsequently, and given Nigeria does not have any reputation to be a tourism country – which is of course not quite right given the country has several national parks and a huge number of historical and cultural monuments and attractions – do these visitors come for their purpose, not a day too soon and not a day longer, in and out as we say in the tourism industry.
The Nigerian tourism trade is trying to change that and is in the process of changing the narrative about Nigeria and while this seems a Herculean task, are things now progressively moving forward.
Meanwhile, as this rollout is being prepared for and then put in action, has Skyview Communications just prior to the recently concluded Nigeria Travel Week put ‘Virtual Naija‘ into place where visitors can take a virtual tour of some of Nigeria’s greatest attractions from across the country.
ATCNews checked out their Lekki operation where visitors to a sports and recreation centre can already try out the virtual journeys and additional locations across the city of Lagos are planned, on the island and the mainland, where foreign visitors in particular will have the opportunity to experience Nigeria through this novel way.
Femi Lawson, who took time out from his busy schedule during the Nigeria Travel Week #NTW2019, then explained to ATCNews:
‘People generally engage more with videos or pictures because it communicates and influences faster, which is why we at Skyview Virtual Tourism decided after long deliberation to use the 360 video and VR technology to present our tourism destinations to tourists at our Virtual Tourism Booths.
The technology gives an immersive experience to anyone that views it using the VR glasses and immediately, the interest to get a physical experience is birthed, which will automatically give more business to the destinations.’
Femi further revealed that apart from the VR Tourism Booths his company also provides content for destination exhibitions, conference, event education and entertainment.
Speaking on the choice of Upbeat Recreation Centre, Lawson added that “we partnered with the Upbeat Center to open the first virtual travel centre in Nigeria and Africa to promote tourism and entertain would-be tourists to a fun VR experience.”
In closing you can see my reaction to having ‘visited’ several sites in Nigeria without leaving Lagos, courtesy of the virtual reality which unfolded before my eyes.