The desire for Nigeria to be the preferred destination for tourists to Africa has been a dream of well-meaning operators and policy makers in the country that has remained on the drawing board. The need for Nigeria to wake up from its slumber and take its rightful position as a front runner in Africa's tourism industry is long overdue and can best be achieved if all relevant players in the industry put their heads together and operate in unionism.
The National Tourism and Transport Summit and Expo is aimed at bringing together all players in the tourism and transport industries so that issues hindering the growth of the two sectors can be tackled without sentiments but with all sense of sincerity of purpose and patriotic zeal for the economic and social good of the country.
Nigeria's efforts and experiences at diversifying the economy from a mono-based economy; totally dependent on petroleum exports, by promoting non-petroleum sectors with particular highlight on the successful development of tourism has been tortuous and had suffered many pitfalls. This is because the various linkages and connecting sub sectors that will make tourism growth prosper, in particular transportation, has been lacking.
Tourism and Transport Connectivity are critical issues relating to bridging transport and tourism policies while reaffirming the need for developing programmes of inter-ministerial cooperation between bodies responsible for tourism and transport so as to improve and strengthen the basic conditions for the sustainable development of both industries. National Tourism Transport Summit is created to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the economy of both sectors.
The opportunity to forge the desired synergy between tourism and other vital lined sectors especially of transportation, is now being offered by the Tourism Transport Summit and Expo scheduled to hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja from 21st to 22nd May, 2018.
The theme of the 2018 edition of the Summit and Expo is Tourism and Transportation, the Key Sectors for Economic Diversification, Sustainable Growth and Development and has the following Sub Themes: *Tourism and Transportation Interdependencies for Mutual Growth and Sustainable Development; *Potentialities of Developing Regional Inter-Connectivity in Transportation and Inter-Modal Connectivity, Traveler Safety and Security.
Others are: *Licensing Regulations and Oversight–Meeting the International Standards for Sustainable Development of the Transportation and Tourism Industries; *Marketing Destination Nigeria - What Role for the Transportation and Tourism Sectors; *Public Private Partnership and Investment in the Tourism and Transportation Sectors- Prospects and Challenges; *Development of Critical Infrastructure and the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria- The Case of Tourism and Transportation Industries; and *Building Capacity for Global Best Practices in the Tourism and Transportation Sectors..
The National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo is expected to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism, and will adopt global perspective throughout the deliberations touching on such critical issues as:
- Concession of Airports
- Establishment of a National Carrier
- Development of Agro-Cargo Terminals
- Critical Aspects of the Tourism-Transport Relationship-
- The tourism-transport interface: symbiotic relationships
- Air transport: shrinking the world and developing mass tourism
- Premium long haul airlines and destination development
- Cruise tourism and ferries: the new reality for water passenger transport
- Ground-based transport
- Current policy and economic issues in transport
- Subsidization of transport provision
- Passenger security
- Supply/demand – managing externalities
- Establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre
- Establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company (ALC)
- Development of Airport Cities (Aerotropolis)
- Future issues and agendas
It will also provide the platform for regulatory and enforcement agencies, national, states and local governments to reappraise and have a better understanding of the importance of tourism to local, states and national economies, and the impact of tourism on community regeneration and employment generation.
Sectors of focus during the two-day event are: Air, Road, Maritime, Airline/Civil Aviation, All Purpose and Inclusive Tourism Activities, Financial Institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Tourism Transport Summit and Expo as a whole offers a unique opportunity and targeted at policy makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, key players in both the tourism and transport sectors of the economy, investors, numerous esteemed customers and the general public estimated at 3,000 to engage in an all-participatory discourse aimed at chatting the desired synergy, collaboration and connective inter-play between the two sectors for maximum economic benefits of the country.
The Expo's primary objective is to create a platform among all major stakeholders— Governments at Federal, States and Local levels, International Organizations, the Organized Private Sector, Transport Operators and Commuters to interact with one another through the presentation of their attainments and programmes as well as showcase their products and services to consumers, business organizations, the regulatory agencies and all key players in the various sub sectors of the industry.
The Tourism Transport Summit and Expo 2018 will consist of numerous sessions which includes: *The NTTS City Walk *Tourism Transport Summit, *Tourism Transport Training, *Exhibition - B2B and G2B, *'Dinner/Awards and * Gala Night and *City Tour of the FCT.
Tourism Transport Training is also embedded in the Summit and expo programs and activities for transport operators because they are often the first local contact for visitors. Car and bus hire operators have the power to deliver unforgettable services! Their role as Goodwill Ambassadors providing unforgettable experiences to visitors need to be understood and appreciated by the transport operators, the tourism industry and the investors.
The basis of all training and certification should reflect the collective expertise of tourism and associated professionals and other stakeholders across Nigeria in their efforts to establish the country's most demanding standards for dozens of tourism occupations. Hence the extensive consultation done in collaboration with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, with contribution from the Federal Road Safety Commission in arriving at the comprehensive training programme.
The benefit for Nigeria tourism and transport businesses is that drivers will become better trained, customer focused, with increased earning power by bringing back customers, generating word-of-mouth referrals and increasing incremental spending by loyal customers.
The course program covers such critical areas as * Professionalism and Customers Service, *Traffic Regulations and Vehicle Maintenance, *Tourism Sector Knowledge, *Communication, Safety and Security, *Routing and time management in tourism and *Methods of Payments.
The National Tourism Transport Ambassadors Award is established to recognize and foster Excellence in the Nigerian Tourism and Transport Sectors. The Award allows the industry to recognize People and Organizations that have gone above board in offering superior tourism transport experiences through the provision of diverse range of high-quality Tourism Transport Services that encourage tourist for repeat visits.
The Gala Night comes immediately after the Tourism Transport Ambassador Award event. The Gala Night is a ceremonial event to host all participants and contributors to the National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo to a Sumptuous Dinner and Varieties of Entertainment. The dress code will be a black tie, dinner wear, ball gown, etc. It's a form of Big Party by the Organizers to say Thank you for being part of the Successful hosting of the Tourism Transport Summit and Expo 2018.
The next day 23rd May 2018, participants will be taken on a city tour of the Federal Capital Territory to acquaint them with some of the tourism attractions and scenic beauty of the Capital City.