The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the forthcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference, is prepared for the global marketing of Nigeria’s tourism assets with the inclusion of culture and creative industries. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press briefing that was held in Lagos ahead of the actual conference that is to be held from November 14-16, 2022, in Lagos, stated that Nigeria relies on the conference for the marketing of its diverse unique assets.
Speaking ahead of the conference which has the theme “Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development,” the minister said that following the inauguration of the planning committee in April 2022, there has been tireless work by the collaboration of eleven sub-committees together with the committee to ensure perfect preparation towards the conference. This would also be achieved by the engagements of major establishments and individuals for a seamless planning process.
Organization has been around for over four decades.
UNWTO is regarded to as a United Nations’ specialized Agency that is responsible for the global promotion of sustainable and universally accepted tourism. The membership of Nigeria with the organization has spanned over four decades, given that the membership has been since 1975. There has also been consistency in the country’s commitment towards the activities of the union. Lai Mohammed further stated that the confidence of the organization and member states is reflected in the hosting rights that were granted the country.
It has its focus on a leadership vision that acknowledges major challenges confronting tourism and the identification of the ability of the sector to prevail over them and bring about a massive positive change with the opportunities derived from responsible tourism for the improvement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Being the leading international organization of tourism, it promotes tourism as it drives economic growth, environmental sustainability and inclusive development, offering leadership and support to the sector for the advancement of knowledge and tourism policies across the world.
Two parallel experts’ workshops will be held at the conference.
Nigeria was given the privilege of hosting its tourism events at the 64th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) in Cape Verde. It has been said that a team from the Madrid UNWTO headquarters, in Spain, have landed in Nigeria on a preliminary mission in regard to the conference. Members of the team include the director, Regional Department for Africa, Ms. Elcia Grandcourt; deputy director of the Regional Department for Africa, Mr. Jaime Mayaki and the Communication expert for Africa, Mr. Kojo Bentum.
The Minister of Information and Culture, appreciated the trust of the organization in Nigeria’s capacity to host a massive conference, noting the fact that it is the fifth time that the country will host member states of the UNWTO. According to the framework of the conference, the programs and activities would have an inclusion of two parallel experts’ workshops, tourism and creative industries seminar, fashion, visual arts, movies, exhibitions on gastronomy, music, and many more.
Provision of networking opportunities for key industry players.
Another major feature that will be displayed by the forthcoming conference is its ability to address the current challenges and provide ways by which member states can benefit from opportunities to aid the acceleration of global economic recovery. Besides that, it would also serve as a medium for the provision networking opportunities for major players in the industry, practitioners, public and private sector policy makers to engage in debate concerning contemporary and future issues including the exchange of ideas and information that pertains to tourism, culture and creative industries.