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  • Author: Nna O. Uluocha x
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Nigeria has a vast array of both natural and cultural tourist attractions. The country’s tourism industry, however, remains grossly underdeveloped, and the tourism resources are largely untapped. Hence, the tourism sector of the economy is yet to contribute significantly to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). One major factor that is responsible for the nation’s current lacklustre performance of the tourism sector is the poor state of tourism packaging and promotion, which, amongst other things is caused by the lack of appropriate tourist maps. Tourism mapping is a key component of tourism planning, development, promotion and management. For Nigeria to drastically and significantly improve the fortunes of her tourism sector, the production, circulation and use of accurate, current and comprehensive tourist maps and atlases must be vigorously pursued. To ensure sustainable tourism mapping and in line with global best practices, the country needs to adopt a Geoinformation technology-based, Internet-compatible multimedia cartographic approach. The author of this paper, therefore, examines the current state of tourism industry and tourism mapping in Nigeria. Some of the hiccups to tourism mapping in the country are identified. The implications of the present poor state of tourism mapping on tourism planning, development, promotion and management in the country are briefly considered. The author makes a strong case for the adoption of a multimedia cartographic approach to tourism mapping in Nigeria. A case of mapping wildlife parks in Nigeria is presented to demonstrate the prospects of effective multimedia tourism mapping of the country. Furthermore, the author identifies and discusses various existing resources in the country that could be harnessed for efficient and sustainable production, distribution and use of multimedia tourist maps/atlases, using Geographical Information Technologies (GIT). Some potential challenges to effective GIT-based tourism mapping in the country as well as how such challenges could be overcome, are equally discussed. Similarly, a model for Web-based, multimedia tourism mapping using GIT is presented. With clear vision, the right policy instrument, mandate, legislation, funding and coordination in place, the current challenges to effective and sustainable tourism mapping in Nigeria can easily be surmounted.