Nigeria has formally invited African tourism ministers to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/Commission for Africa (CAF) meeting scheduled to hold in Abuja from June 4 to 6, 2018.
Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
personally extended the invitation to the ministers at a meeting they held on the sidelines of the ongoing International Travel Trade Fair (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday.
‘’I have tried to contact, individually, every minister. I have sent an email to every minister, reminding them of the meeting and assuring them that we will leave no stone unturned to host a very successful meeting.
‘’The truth is that no matter the level of preparation that is made, if you are not there, it is not a success. So I really wish to appeal to all of us to please attend the CAF meeting in June,’’ the minister said, shortly after handing over the invitation letters to his African colleagues.
He said the participants at the meeting would experience the best of Nigeria, especially in the area of the creative industry where Nigeria’s competitive advantage is widely acknowledged.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Mohammed has urged the global tourism body, UNWTO, to involve African heads of state in its plan to rebrand the continent and make it more attractive to global tourists.
Contributing to the debate on the UNWTO’s rebranding process for Africa in Berlin, he said ministers other than those of tourism should also be involved.
‘’The UNWTO could make presidents and heads of state from across Africa honorary champions of tourism as a way to get them involved.
There could also be a forum where the UNWTO will invite other ministers, including those of Finance, Budget and Planning, Health, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure and Agriculture, to come and hear first-hand how tourism impacts their various portfolio.
‘’Tourism is the barometer through which the world will feel the temperature of any country. There is no area of governance that is left untouched by tourism,’’ he stated.