By Sunday Ehigiator
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has solicited the support of Nigeria’s tourism journalists and writers for the country’s hosting of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting in Abuja between June 4-6 2018.
“We are keenly aware that we cannot host a successful UNWTO/CAF Meeting without you,” the minister said during a meeting with members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET) in Lagos.
“I am therefore using this occasion to solicit your support for thesuccess of the 61st Meeting of the UNWTO/CAF,” he said. Mohammed described the tourism writers as Nigeria’s foremost brand ambassadors, whose writings go far beyond the shores of the country and influence the opinions of foreign tourists, adding: “With that tag (of brand ambassadors), a lot of responsibility is placed on you.”
He said the UNWTO/CAF Meeting is a great opportunity for Nigeria, “in that – apart from the socio-economic gains – the event will put Nigeria, and the nation’s tourism industry in particular, on the world map, attract foreign research experts and promote the necessary network that will form the basis for future cooperation.
The minister described as apt the theme of the Meeting, which is:
‘Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development’, because “it will give us the opportunity of strengthening our tourism data gathering and analysis, which is an area in which we have been relatively weak.”
He said with participants coming from the 51 African countries that are members of the UNWTO as well as representatives of the UN agency, other international organizations, local and international media as well as experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector, the meeting will provide a good opportunity for Nigeria to showcase itself to the world, especially in the area of its culture and tourism.
The minister also said that Lagos State would host the TechnicalVisit aspect of the meeting, which will be used to showcase Eko Atlantic City which, on completion, will boast of the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa, vast amenities for entertainment, such as food courts, cinemas and playgrounds, and a canal that can be used for water transportation and water sports, among others.