Nigeria has been urged to wake up from its slumber and take its rightful position as a front runner in Africa’s tourism Industry, according to the organisers of the forthcoming International Tourism Transport summit and expo 2019 slated for April 29 and 30th, 2019 in Abuja.
The summit brings together players in the tourism and transportation sector of the country to brainstorm on the interconnection between transport and tourism; a connectivity brought by road rail, maritime and air transport services to chart the way forward for both sectors and by extension, reposition them in the economic diversification drive of the President Mohammadu Buhari led administration.
The theme of 2019 edition of the summit and Expo is “Tourism and Transportation Inter-dependencies for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”.
The tourism transport summit and expo programme will begin with the Host City Walk on Saturday, April 27; the tourism transport summit and exhibition will hold from Monday, 29th to Tuesday 30th April with B2B and G2B sessions; The Tuesday 30th April events will be rounded up with the Award and Gala Night; while the entire Program will end with the Host City Walk on May 1st.
The International Tourism Transport Summit and Expo is aimed at bringing 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 economic and social good of the country.
Speaking on the this year’s event, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, said the summit brings together stakeholders, regulators, decision makers and captains in transport and tourism to come and exchange ideas.
He added that tourism and huge transportation potentials could be achieved if all relevant players in the industry put their heads together and operate in unionism.
Nigeria’s efforts and experiences at diversifying the economy from mono-based economy; totally dependent on petroleum exports, by promoting non- petroleum sector with particular highlight on the successful development of tourism has been torturous 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.
He hinted that tourism and transport connectivity are critical issues relating with bridging transport and tourism policies will 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 sustainable development of both industries.
To him, International Tourism Transport Summit is created to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the economy of both sectors.
The tourism Transport Summit and Exo as a whole offers a unique opportunity and targeted at policy makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, Key players in both tourism and transport sectors of the economy, investors, numerous esteemed customers and general public estimated at 3000 to engage in an all-participatory discourse aimed at chatting with the desired synergy, collaboration and connective inter-play between the two sectors for maximum economic benefits of the country.
His words, “The Expo’s primary objective is to create a platform among all major stakeholders- Governments at Federal, States and local levels, international oragnisations, the organized private sector, transport operators commuters to interact with one another through the presentation of their attainments and programmes as well as showcase their products and services to commuters, business organisations, the regulatory agencies and all key players in the sub sectors of the country”.
“The tourism Transport Training is also embedded in the summit and Expo Program and activities for transport operators because they are often the first local contact for visitors. Cars and bus hire providing unforgettable experiences to the visitors need to understood and appreciated by the transport operators, tourism industry and investors”.
The basis of all training and certification according to him 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 Tourism 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 spending by the loyal customers2, he added..