Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for the support of Nigeria’s tourism journalists and writers for the nation’s hosting of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting in Abuja 4-6 June, 2018.
The minister made the call during a meeting with members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), in Lagos, on Monday.
Mohammed, in a statement issued in Lagos by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi, said “We are keenly aware that we cannot host a successful UNWTO/CAF Meeting without you,” saying: ”I am therefore using this occasion to solicit your support for the success of the 61st Meeting of the UNWTO/CAF.”
Mohammed described the tourism writers as Nigeria’s foremost brand ambassadors whose writings extend beyond the shores of the Nigeria and influence the opinions of foreign tourists.
Mohammed added that ”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, even as he said ”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 said the theme of the meeting ‘Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development,’ was apt 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.”
Mohammed said with participants coming from the 51 African countries who are members of the UNWTO, as well as representatives of the United Nations agency, other international organisations, 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.
Mohammed also said that Lagos State will host the technical visit 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.