UNWTO summit: Nigeria seeks corporate support

The Nigerian government has called on all citizens as well as the corporate world to support the Federal Government in making the hosting of the 61st summit of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa, a success.

The event which is slated for June 4-6 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital is bringing the world tourism community under one roof.

Making the appeal during a press conference with a group of Tourism writers on Monday in Lagos, South West Nigeria, the country’s Information and Culture Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed said showcasing Nigeria to the world was critical and the tourism sector has got the platform to do that with so much expected from Nigeria.

We believe that this is a great opportunity for Nigeria, in that � apart from the socio-economic gains � the event will put Nigeria, and the nation’s tourism industry in particular, on the world map, attract foreign research experts and promote the necessary network that will form the basis for future cooperation.

It is apt that the theme of the Meeting is: Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development, because it will give us the opportunity of strengthening our tourism data gathering and analysis, which is an area in which we have been relatively weak. As you know, tourism, as an industry, and the other sectors are interdependent. Statistics generated by other agencies and organs play a vital role in attaining the objective of tourism development.

According to the Minister, the reality, however, was that most of the agencies that generate the statistics are not under the Ministry of Information and Culture, which formulates policy for the industry, but their input is required to develop tourism in Nigeria.

This is why the Ministry has to cooperate and coordinate with the relevant MDAs. And that is why the theme of the Meeting is most relevant, he said.

Of course, the Meeting will also give Nigeria the opportunity to showcase itself to the world, especially in the area of its culture and tourism. Nigeria has so much to showcase, ranging from our tourist attractions and our rich culture to our music and films, which are the toast of the world.

The Minister also revealed why there will be a visit to Lagos during the 2 day UNWTO CAF meeting.

The Technical Visit will be to Lagos. Specifically, we will be showcasing the Eko Atlantic City during that day-long visit on the last day of the Meeting.

We have chosen this city because it is being positioned as a foremost tourist destination in Africa and beyond. When it is completed, the city will boast of the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa, vast amenities for entertainment, such as food courts, cinemas and playgrounds, and a canal that can be used for water transportation and water sports, among others.

We are currently working with the Lagos State Government and the City sponsors to make that visit a success.

The 61st edition of the Meeting, which we are hosting, will be attended mostly by delegates drawn from the 51 member states of the Commission for Africa, the Executives of the UNWTO, international Organizations, local and international media as well as experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector.

The UNWTO � which is the leading international organization for tourism � unanimously gave Nigeria the hosting right for the Meeting during the 59th Session of the UNWTO/CAF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2017.

Source: Voice of Nigeria