September 26, (THEWILL) – Ahead of the World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrated globally on 27th September, 2021, a key player in the nation’s tourism industry has advised the federal government to take advantage of the celebration to reposition the sector and plan ahead for the future.
The tourism expert also stressed the need for the federal government to successfully reposition the economy using WTD as a tool.
WTD is usually celebrated every year on the September 27th of each year. Nigeria, on its own part, has decided to join other nations to mark the ceremony across states.
Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board, Mr. Ini Akpabio who gave the advice recently insisted that through WTD 2021 celebration under its theme: “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”, Nigeria will not only return the country to its former economic status but is capable of surpassing previous level of growth.
“We need to reposition ourselves, so that all of us in Nigeria will become beneficiaries of tourism as it touches each and everyone economically. Inclusive growth as the theme implies is that growth will affect everyone. As we normally like to say that tourism is life; more so, all states, all communities that embrace tourism after the pandemic will ensure that their communities, their states and their countries will quickly bounce back to previous levels of the economic prosperity they enjoyed. There are indications that such states and countries will surpass those levels and that is what this year’s theme for world tourism day is trying to achieve.”
Speaking on this year’s WTD, Akpabio pointed out that Minister for Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has decided that Kebbi State would host WTD in Nigeria and so Kebbi has been preparing herself to do a very good job.
In addition, we should not forget Kebbi that is noted for sports tourism through the Argungu Fishing Festival and agriculture tourism as well.
Explaining further, he said “What Kebbi State has done was to map out several days of activities and then the grand finale would be the fishing festival on September 27.
“We found out that there are lots of activities that would take place there. For example, there would be international media briefings, there would be lots of cultural engagements.
He said “Kebbi State has positioned itself in such a manner that tourists can be taken to all the prominent tourist sites. And we look at the culture aspect of the whole event, it is interesting to note that the Minister For Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was a Kakakin Kebbi.
According to him, “The day is going to be a very lovely way to celebrate WTD in Nigeria. And I am also happy to note that all the components under the Ministry at the Federal level are involved, such as National Institute Of Hospitality And Tourism (NIHOTOUR) Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation(NTDC).
Going forward, people in Nigeria and other parts of the world need to recover from the negative economic effects of the pandemic using the WTD theme as a platform.
He noted also that Nigeria as a country, especially Akwa Ibom State has a lot to offer as regards tourism in Nigeria and also tourism worldwide.
This year’s theme is inclusive tourism; that means inclusive growth and that means that everyone is involved. And we are just recovering from the pandemic. That means everyone is very important in the sense that under this year’s theme, we are looking at all human beings being taken into consideration and that is why we talk of inclusive growth. We want to see the social and economic benefits that tourism makes available to everybody”, Akpabio said.