By Priscilla Osaje
The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) has urged the Minister of Tourism, Mrs Lola Ade- John, to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to reposition the Nigerian tourism sector.
Mr Nkereuwem Onung, National President, FTAN, who made the call during a courtesy visit to the minister on Thursday in Abuja, said tourism had contributed immensely to the country`s economy.
Onung said that effective collaboration would help in promoting investment opportunities, and economic potential of the sector for national growth and development.
“We earnestly trust and believe you will bring to bear Nigeria as a country that should enormously rely on the Tourism Industry for the immense economic values it has to offer.
“We are sure that such will increase government revenue earnings, create jobs, reduce poverty among others,” he said.
The president called for the formation of a forum of all state Commissioners for Tourism across the country.
He said that the forum would afford stakeholders the opportunity to discuss development issues in the sector.
“We may have to address the thorny issue of ‘Grading and Classification of Tourism and Hospitality establishments.
“We should have in place standard operation patterns for tourism and hospitality establishments in the country in line with global best practices,“he said.
He urged the Federal Government to devise means to implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that will creates jobs, and promote culture and products.
Onung urged the minister to revisit the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) started more than two decades ago but was inconclusive.
He said that Nigeria cannot talk about developing the tourism industry without a roadmap.
The president said that states should be encouraged to develop and have a tourism Master Plan, that will serve as a roadmap and guide in the implementation of their tourism development programmes.
He appealed to the minster to ensure that the World Tourism Day event was celebrated with government and organised private sector, to chart new trajectories for the sector in line with UNWTO themes.
Responding, Ade-John said that the sector would become the sector that could drive the country`s economy.
According to her, the tourism sector is supposed to be the number one revenue earner in the country aside the petroleum sector.
“On a serious note, my background is technology and I believe in data and information which is the main key to effective decision making”.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Joseph Edeh