Thursday, April 21, 2016

UNWTO to help boost tourism in Nigeria – Minister


The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has agreed to design a two-year Plan of Action to promote tourism in Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has said.
Mohammed said that the decision was reached at a meeting he held with the Secretary-General of the organisation, Taleb Rifai.
Mohammed said the meeting was held on Wednesday on the sidelines of the April 19 to April 21 UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
A statement issued yesterday  in Abuja on the meeting by the Special Adviser to the Minister, Mr Segun Adeyemi, stated that UNWTO would work with the government to boost the nation’s tourism sector.
According to the statement, Rifai invited the minister to the organisation's headquarters in Spain during which he would meet with the UNWTO, private sector investors and Spanish government officials.
The statement said that the visit would be followed by that of the secretary-general to Nigeria for on-the-spot assessment of the challenges militating against the development of tourism in Africa's largest economy.
On his part, Rifai said that the UNWTO was delighted to have Nigeria fully back in the fold.
``We are happy Nigeria is here. Nigeria is too significant to disconnect from UNWTO.
``Happily, the new government in Nigeria has a good reputation,’’ the secretary-general said.
The minister on his part briefed the Secretary-General and his team on the efforts being made by the Nigerian government to ensure the security of lives and property.
He said successes had been recorded against Boko Haram, as well as on the upgrading of infrastructure.
The UNWTO is the leading international organisation in the field of tourism, promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.

The organisation also provides leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies globally.