Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has disclosed plans for its 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is bill to hold at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on July 21. This was made known by the President of the federation, Nkwereuwem Onung.
According to Onung, aside of the business session, the AGM, which is a non – elective one, will have a note speaker and panel session that will focus on x-raying the Nigerian tourism sector.
In this interview with Africa Travel Herald (ATH), Chief Samuel Alabi - a former president of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and the current Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman of the Federation - shares his opinion on the 2022 UN Sustainable Gastronomy Day celebration organized by NIHOTOUR and also made some suggestions on the way forward for tourism in Nigeria. Excerpts:
What is your impression of the 2022 World Gastronomy Day celebration organized by the NIHOTOUR?
This is unprecedented. I have been in this industry for more than 30 years; I can say confidently with my position in the tourism industry and specifically in the hospitality sector, this is unprecedented and should be done annually.
His Royal Highness, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammad Mera CON, His Highness, the Osolo of Isolo and Secretary General of Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs, Oba Kabiru Kolawole Alakija Agbabiaka and Chief Samuel Olu Alabi, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Eko Hotel and Suites and Chairman Board of Trustees, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) are among dignitaries to be honoured with the Fellowship of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) at the World Sustainable Gastronomy Day Celebration scheduled to hold on Saturday, 18th June, 2022 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
UNWTO has announced the launch of the Digital Futures Programme, designed to accelerate the adoption of new technology among tourism enterprises.
Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology, finance and business companies as Mastercard the initiative is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80% of all tourism businesses. UNWTO aims to reach at least 1 million tourism SMEs over the lifetime of the Programme, providing them with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of new and emerging technologies.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “Small businesses are the backbone of tourism. The Digital Futures Programme will help them to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and drive the sector forward, powered by innovation and new technology.”
In order to provide SMEs with tailored guidance and and tools, the Programme is built on a Digital Readiness Diagnostic Tool that benchmarks SMEs across five key digital dimensions – Connectivity, Business Growth, E-Commerce, Big Data and Analytics, and Payments and Security. The launch event, held at IE Tower in Madrid, was attened by around 200 participants including the Ambassadors to Spain of UNWTO’s Member States, as well as invstement and promotion Agencies, and SMEs themselves.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said BUA Cement's massive increase in production, especially since 2015, was made possible by the conducive business environment provided by the Federal Government.
The Minister, who stated this during a media tour of BUA Cement's Sokoto Plant on Wednesday, listed the favourable conditions as including the granting of Pioneer Status which enables BUA Cement to enjoy tax holiday; the ban on importation of cement; backward integration policy and the divestment of government shares from cement companies.
As the first ever UNWTO Secretary-General to address the UN General Assembly, Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “now is the time to build resilient and peaceful societies and tourism can help make this happen! Tourism is a leading provider of opportunities because it is based on people, builds bridges and helps create a better tomorrow for people everywhere.”
The president of Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), Mr Nkereuwem Onung has charged the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari to reinstitute the presidential Council on Tourism to stimulate the States apparatus to drive genuine development and promotion of practical tourism in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has assured that the 1st Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, to be held in Lagos 14-17 November 2022, will be a trailblazing event.
The National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo, a tourism and transportation industry combined event of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), the fifth edition in the series of the program, comes up on Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th of April, 2022 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja with the theme: ‘African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Strengthening Connectivity, Effect and Partnership’.
In reaffirming the need for developing programmes of international cooperation and partnership within the African continent that will improve and strengthen the basic conditions necessary for the successful implementation of AfCFTA, the 2022 International Tourism Transport Summit seeks to explore such areas as human capacity training for quality labour mobility, developing and marketing of the Nigerian tourism potentials, infrastructural development in intra-modal transportation sector among others.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, who is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony of the Summit will deliver the Keynote Address on the Theme: ‘Empower Youths, Empower Africa: Employment Opportunities for Africans in Tourism, Hospitality and Transportation’.
Other speakers at the event aimed at ensuring Nigeria’s preparedness for successful participation in the AfCFTA Agreement include: Building and Efficient Intra-Africa Transportation System: - The Way Forward on African Transportation and Tourism Through AfCFTA Regime to be led by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. Chief Executive Officers of Media Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture led by the Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed will pilot discussion on Media Roundtable: The Role of Media and ICT in Tourism and Transportation Marketing.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu will present the lead paper on ‘National Skills Qualification, Panacea to Mobilization of Labour Across the African Union; The ‘CEO's Business Roundtable: Intra-Africa Trade Opportunities for Private Businesses’, is to be under the auspices of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) with the President, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar and Director General, Ms. Victoria Akai leading the panel of discussants The Sub Theme: AfCFTA Regime Efficacy: - How Effective Collaboration of Relevant Gatekeepers Can Make the Difference’ has Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, as the lead Discussant.
Others are ‘One Africa Roundtable: Creating Economic Transformation for Africa via Collaborative Efforts’ and will be led by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Alhaji Abubakar Abba Bello alongside representatives of the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS); While ‘Africa's Tourism: A Global Destination for World Investment’ will be discussed under the purview of Mr. Folorunsho Coker, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).
The National Tourism Summit and Expo has since inception in 2018, offered the platform for public and private sector stakeholders, producers and consumers in Nigeria and the African Continent to come together, share ideas, experiences, exchange knowledge and showcase their skills in the growth, development and promotion of the nation’s economic endowments, this time, by promoting the ideals of the AfCFTA Agreements and leveraging on it.
African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a flagship project of Agenda 2063 of the African Union. It is Africa’s own development vision which was approved by the 18th ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012 and signed by Nigeria on 7 July 2019 followed by the inauguration of a National Action Committee to coordinate the implementation of the AfCFTA on 20 December 2019 and deposited her instrument of ratification of the Agreement on 5 December 2020.
Participants at the two-day event will be drawn from major key players and stakeholders in the transportation and tourism sectors such as the air transportation; i.e. airlines, tour and travel operators, administrators of the aviation industry; the maritime industry which includes sea transport, boats and sea cruising operators; Road Transportation including major transport owners, car hire services, Uber, Road Traffic and Safety Agencies including the FRSC, Motor Insurance Companies; State Transport Ministries and Agencies; Rail Transport Services.
Others are operators of the Tourism and Hospitality industry including tourism resort operators, National Parks Services; museums and monuments, State Tourism Ministries and Boards, Festivals and tourism events managers; Hoteliers, Restaurants and fast food operators; conferences and events managers; as well as service providers in the banking, oil and gas industries.
The Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo programme will feature Host City Walk, Tourism Transport Summit, Exhibition-B2B and G2B sessions, Tourism Transport Membership and Fellowship inductions, and The Gala Night which will also feature Awards to deserving stakeholders in the industry.
In furtherance of its collaborative effort to sanitise and ensure international best practice in the hotel industry, the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), Standard Organisation of Nigeria have met with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to streamline a seamless working relationship within the ambit of the law to launch a national hotel grading and classification exercise with Lagos as the pilot lead.