Delegates from 166 member countries of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are billed to participate at its 2022 conference scheduled to hold in Lagos between Nov. 14 and Nov. 16.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known on Saturday in Lagos.

National tourism and culture organisations, international organisations, destination management organisations and stakeholders from the public and private sectors are expected at the conference.

Also expected to participate are civil society organisations working on tourism, cultural and creative industries and the media.

Mohammed told a news conference that delegates would include UNWTO top executives, officials and experts led by the secretary-general, ministers and officials of tourism, culture and arts ministries of member states.

There would be two parallel experts’ workshops, a seminar on tourism and the creative industry and a conference on linking tourism, culture and the creative industry.

The minister noted that there would also be exhibitions on gastronomy, fashion, movie, music, visual arts and more, as well as a special programme on the creative industry tagged “A Day with Nollywood’’.

“According to the UNWTO, tourism is an activity in which the visitors’ essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible attractions and products in a destination.

“It has positive socio-economic impact, preserves cultural, historical heritage and facilitates harmony and understanding among people.

“The organisation described the creative industry, which includes advertising, architecture, arts and crafts, design, film, video, photography, music, performing arts, and publishing, as the lifeblood of the creative economy.

“It says it is also a growth driver for sustainable development,’’ the minister said.

Mohammed noted that the hosting right for the conference demonstrated the confidence the UNWTO and its member states had in Nigeria and its capacity to host such important and huge conference.

“This will mark the fifth time that Nigeria will be hosting member states of the UNWTO,’’ he stressed.

The minister expressed appreciation of Cappa D’Alberto and SANEF, the contractor and consultant, respectively, handling renovation work at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos, one of the venues for the conference.

He noted that the two companies had shown tremendous commitment by fast-tracking the renovation work to ensure that the spaces and facilities required for the conference were available for use.

He assured the visiting teams that by end of October, the venue would be ready for the conference.

“With regards to other facilities and requirements, nine hotels, including Eko Hotels and Suites, the official hotel for the conference, have been designated to provide accommodation for delegates.

“Countries bid to host international conferences and events because they provide a credible opportunity and platform to market the various sectors of their national economies.

“Nigeria intends to leverage on this very important event to market and highlight its diverse and unique assets in the areas of tourism, culture and the creative industry.

“I use this opportunity to invite relevant public and private sector stakeholders to be part of this important event by registering and participating in it.

“It is our collective and individual responsibility as Nigerians to ensure that we host a world class event in a safe and secure environment.

“President Muhammadu Buhari already promised this when he visited the UNWTO headquarters in Spain earlier this year, the minister said. (NAN)

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