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Nigeria to host first-ever Global Conference on Tourism

President Buhari during a visit to United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General in Madrid, Spain.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the readiness of Nigeria to host the first-ever Global Conference on Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industry in November this year in a conducive environment.

The President stated this during a visit to the headquarters of the United Nations World Trade Organization in Madrid, the Spanish capital, at the beginning of his state visit to the country.

President Buhari described the granting of the hosting rights as a further proof of Nigeria’s support for the vision of the organisation and also an affirmation of the confidence reposed in Nigeria by the organization.

He noted that the event would provide yet another opportunity for the country to showcase its tourism and creative industry to the whole world.

He said It would also serve as an opportunity to extend the country’s warm hospitality to the world and introduce the country’s leisure and business sectors to potential investors.

President Buhari assured participants from across the world of a safe and secure environment, as well as excellent facilities.

The President affirmed that the country had been consistent in supporting the organisation since joining in 1975, noting that Nigeria had also been elected Chairman of the Commission for Africa between 2005 and 2007.

The President used the opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for granting 100 UNWTO Online Academy Scholarships on the Introduction to Tourism-Industry Management, stressing that it will further boost youth empowerment and education, as well as address the manpower shortage in the tourism sector.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, whose ministry is facilitating the conference, said Nigeria was given the hosting rights at the 64th meeting of the UNWTO in Cape Verde in 2021, explaining that Nigeria’s plan is to host the event in the iconic National Theatre in Lagos, which is currently being massively refurbished for the first time since its commissioning some 46 years ago.

The Minister emphasized that Nigeria intended to leverage the conference to showcase what would make her thick in culture, tourism, music, film, gastronomy, fashion, photography, music and film.

In his remarks, Secretary-General, UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili said President Buhari’s visit was a direct confirmation of how important tourism was to Nigeria, describing Nigeria as a big country with huge resources in culture, nature and diversity.

He assured the President of his support in promoting the diverse culture of Nigerians and Africans to the world.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino