The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has expressed satisfaction with the level of Nigeria’s preparedness for the hosting of its first global Confab in Nigeria in November.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday in Lagos after a meeting with the officials of the UNWTO.
UNWTO is an agency responsible for the promotion of tourism as a driver of global economic growth and inclusive development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Conference with the theme, “Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development,” had been scheduled to hold in Lagos from Nov.14 to 16.
Briefing newsmen after the closed door meeting, the minister said that representatives from the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain, were currently in Nigeria on a preliminary mission for the conference.
He said the team comprised Ms Elcia Grandcourt, Director, Regional Department for Africa, Mr. Jaime Mayaki, Deputy Director, Regional Department for Africa, and Mr Kojo Bentum, Communication expert for Africa, UNWTO.
According to him, the purpose of the mission is to inspect the facilities for the conference, which included the National Theater which is the venue; the designated hotels, venue for social events and to receive briefs from the planning committee.
” Yesterday, Friday, the team inspected the National theater, some of the designated hotels as well as the venue for the special programme on Nollywood.
” The team equally met with the planning committee; this morning, I received a comprehensive brief from the team and I am pleased to inform you that the team is very satisfied with the level of Nigeria’s preparedness to host the global conference.
” As you are aware, the UNWTO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is globally responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accepted tourism.
” Nigeria’s membership of this important organisation spans almost five decades. I am happy to note that since joining the organization in 1975, Nigeria has been consistent in its commitment to the activities of the organisation,” he said.
The Minister said it was a common knowledge that globally, COVID-19 pandemic impacted on all the sectors of the world economies, but most heavily on the travel and tourism sector; leading to its near collapse.
He noted that with the recovery and lifting of restriction in almost all parts of the world, global leaders and international community were seeking for industries that could stimulate socio-economic recovery, accelerate job creation and inclusive development.
He said the tourism and creative industries had huge potential to bridge this gap as the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy.
” The tourism sector creates one out of every 10 jobs, while the creative industries generate around 30 million jobs, mostly for the youth and women who constitute nearly half of the workers and accounts for 6.1per cent of global GDP.
” The forthcoming conference will therefore address the current challenges and ways in which member states can tap into emerging opportunities to speed up global economic recovery.
” It will also be a unique networking opportunities for key industry players, practitioners, public and private sector policy makers to debate on contemporary and future issues, exchange ideas and information relating to tourism, culture and the creative industries,” he said. (NAN) (nannews.ng).