UN Tourism Agency to help boost tourism in Nigeria

Solomon Chung, Abuja

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is to work with Nigeria to boost tourism in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the global tourism agency agreed to design a two-year Plan of Action to promote tourism in Nigeria.

The Minister made this statement during a meeting with the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai on the sidelines of the UNWTO Commission for Africa forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

‘‘The Secretary-General, who attended the meeting with other members of the UNWTO’s decision-making Execuitive Council, also invited me to the Organisation’s headquarters in Spain, during which am expected to meet with the UNWTO, private sector investors and Spanish government officials’’, He said.

The Visit to Spain
The visit, Alhaji Mohammed said, would be followed by that of the Secretary-General to Nigeria for on-the-spot assessment of the challenges working against the development of tourism in Africa’s largest economy.

He quoted Mr. Rifai as saying the UNWTO is delighted to have Nigeria fully back in the fold, following the attendance of the Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan by the Minister of Information and Culture.

”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 also briefed the Secretary-General and his team on the efforts being made by the Nigerian government to ensure the security of lives and property, especially the successes recorded against book haram, as well as the upgrading of infrastructure.

The UNWTO is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, while
providing leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies globally.