Ekong said on Monday in Abuja that if hotel owners had access to loans at reduced interest rates, the industry would improve and meet international standards.
“We need policies of government that are favourable to tourism investment; we need government to provide soft loans to expand our business in terms of renovations.
“Nigeria must take a cue from other countries that have invested heavily in the development of their tourism industry.”
Ekong said the sector had been the highest employer of labour, contributing to the economic development of the country.
He said the operators’ expectation in the new dispensation was for the government to provide an enabling environment for the hospitality industry to thrive.
The tourism sector, he said, could generate more foreign exchange for the country than oil if the industry was properly developed