The federal government is set to market Nigeria’s tourism assets as well as culture and creative industries to the world through the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos ahead of the conference expected to hold in Lagos from 14th to 16th November 2022 with the theme ‘Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development,’ the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, Nigeria is willing to leverage on the conference to market and highlight its diverse and unique assets in the areas of tourism, culture and the creative industries.
Since the inauguration of the planning committee, which have members drawn from the public and private sector in April 2022, he said, the committee, assisted by eleven sub-committees, has been working assiduously to ensure that everything is in place for the conference.
The planning committee, he added, is also engaging other key establishments and individuals to ensure a smooth planning process, expressing his satisfaction with the level of preparations so far.
In 2021, Nigeria had been given the right to host the event at the 64th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) in Cape Verde with the theme ‘Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development.’
According to Lai Mohammed, a team from the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain, is currently in Nigeria on a preliminary mission for the conference.
“The team comprises the director, Regional Department for Africa, Ms. Elcia Grandcourt, deputy director, Regional Department for Africa, Mr. Jaime Mayaki and the Communication expert for Africa, Mr Kojo Bentum.
“As you are aware, the UNWTO is a specialized Agency of the United Nations that is globally responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accepted tourism. Nigeria’s membership spans almost five decades and since joining the organisation in 1975, Nigeria has been consistent in its commitment to the activities of the union,” he pointed out.
While speaking, he stressed, this hosting right, once again demonstrates the confidence of the organisation and its member states in Nigeria and its capacity to host such an important and huge conference, adding that, this will mark the fifth time that Nigeria will be hosting members states of the UNWTO.
He also said, in the framework of the conference, the programmes and activities will include two parallel experts’ workshops, seminar on tourism and the creative industries, conference on linking tourism, culture and the creative industries, exhibitions on gastronomy, fashion, movie, music, visual arts, among others.
The forthcoming conference, he noted, 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 as well as exchange ideas and information relating to tourism, culture and the creative industries,” he stressed.