By Emmanuel Elebeke
The federal government says it is planning a national summit on the role of youths and women in tourism as part of the efforts to harness their talents to develop the sector.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the announcement at the ongoing 23rd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
In a statement by the minister on Wednesday, Mohammed said it is clear from the presentations at the ongoing meetings that tourism is gradually overtaking other aspects of the economy as a major player for development and equality.
”It’s incontestable today that the industry that creates jobs fastest is tourism. It’s one industry that creates jobs for women and its one industry that encourages youths,” he said at the meeting, which coincides with the 62nd meeting of the UNWTO’s Commission for Africa (CAF) at the same venue
He said Nigeria will leverage on its comparative advantage, which includes a rich culture and a blooming music and film industry, to take its tourism sector to the next level.
”In many climes before now, tourism was seen merely as a past time, as a vacation, but from the report of the Secretary General (of the UNWTO) at this meeting, tourism has become a key driver in the development of the economy, and also in ensuring equality all over the world, ” he added.