Last week, the internet was left agog; videos of foreigners eating the Nigerian food, fufu, was trending on social media in what Tik Tokers dubbed the Fufu Challenge. As expected, there were mixed reactions from this adventure; while some foreigners loved the food, others were disgusted by it.
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Some West Africans did not welcome the negative reviews, and they took to Twitter to register their displeasure. While their dismay is normal, they must look beyond it to the silver lining in this latest development- that foreigners are buying our food and putting money in the hands of our businessmen and women. Therefore, there is need for nations in West Africa to discuss ways of exploiting this global opportunity for their own benefit. This is why today, we’ll be discussing ways in which Nigerian food can be utilized as a catalyst for tourism.
Nigeria is one of the West African countries where cassava fufu is a staple. This multi-diverse country has a wide variety of foods, some of which many of the locals have not yet explored. Food tourism can thus be promoted by Nigeria in the following ways:
Organizing Food Festivals
The GTBank Food and Drink, Eat and Drink Festival, and Fiesta of Flavours are all food festivals. We, thus, have already taken a step in the right direction. Nigerians are lovers of fun and good food and so attend these festivals very well.
What we need to do at this point is to maintain the food festival tradition and to promote these festivals so that they would attract more curious foreigners who are interested in our local food culture.
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My Dad always says that if you don’t blow your own trumpet, nobody will blow it for you. One way to blow our cultural trumpet is to write about our foods. Writing about it will advertise our food to the world. Food writers are therefore encouraged to step up their games. They should write more about popular street foods, local drinks and foods. These are what tourists and foreign food adventurers will read and want to try out.
Also, there is a need for more expository articles on the health and medical benefits of some of our local foods and ingredients. This could attract foreign interest and promote tourism.
Serving Nigerian Delicacies at Nigerian Events Hosted Outside Nigeria
Nigerians should proudly display their culture whenever and wherever the occasion demands it. Our local delicacies should be served at international conferences, events, and weddings that are hosted by Nigerians outside Nigeria. This could pique the interest of foreign attendees who would now want to visit Nigeria and explore more of our local foods.
Organizing Cultural Exhibitions at International Conferences
International conferences are a mix of education and entertainment. We should create opportunities that’ll allow us to showcase some of our popular local dishes. This will raise awareness of our food and culture and promote tourism.
Finally, if we want Nigerian food to be a catalyst for tourism, we must outline our vision for the Nigerian food industry. We must ensure food safety and exploit every opportunity to promote our food.
Featured Image Source: The Cable Lifestyle
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