No less than 56 African ministers of tourism and 25 top officials of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will converge on Nigeria for the ``53rd Session of African Ministers of Tourism’’.
Chief Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the session would be held in Cross River.
Duke said that preparations were in top gear to ensure a hitch-free event.
According to him, the event is scheduled to hold from July 25, to July 27, at the Tinapa Lakeside Resort, Calabar.
The minister said that the opportunity to host the session was a rare occurrence that would boost the tourism industry.
According to him, top government officials from the participating countries as well as stakeholders in Nigeria will also be in attendance.
Duke said that the country’s petroleum sector was seen as a destination in the past and not the tourism sector, but that the situation had changed.
``Today, I want to tell you that Cross River has created tremendous impact in the industry,'' he said.
The minister said that diversifying Nigeria’s economy through development of the tourism industry was crucial if the country must be among top 20 economies by 2020.
He said that the event would also afford the country an opportunity to redefine its image, showcase itself as a place for conferences and exhibitions with warm people and clean environment. (NAN)