FG to give tourism prime position in post-COVID-19 economic plans

Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to ensure that tourism is given a prime place in the economic plans to revitalise the economic in the post-COVID-19 economic plan agenda for sustainable growth.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha declared this at the 2020 edition of the Annual Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo held at the Abuja International Conference Centre recently.

Mustapha who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Public Affairs-Bilateral Relations of the Secretary to Federal Government, Mr Olakunle Fasina, stated that the annual summit and expo with the theme ‘repositioning tourism and transportation connectivity and mobility to revitalise the economy’ couldn’t have come at a better time than now when the world economy has come under the greatest threat of our time occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic that affected all sectors of global economy with transportation, hospitality and tourism sub-sectors been the hardest hit.

He expressed the happiness of the Federal Government for the positive spirit the annual summit and expo has breathed and injected into the tourism transportation sector in particular and the national economy as a whole, noting that the synergy created by the event has continuously forged between government and the private sector a healthy development in the efforts by the present administration to support and carry the private sector along in repositioning the national economy through a robust Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

Mustapha further observed that the connectivity brought by road transport which is at the heart of tourism development provides substantial economic benefits for all involved in the tourism value chain, saying that it is against this backdrop that the Tourism Transport Summit and Expo will further strengthen the links between both sectors and maximise their impacts on employment, inclusive growth and sustainable development as a way of overcoming the negative impacts and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

Earlier in his welcome address, National President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) and Chairman, Inter-ministerial Organising Committee (IOC) of the event, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo stated that the objective of the annual summit and expo was to deepen the connectivity and interplay between Tourism and Transportation as well as provide a platform to explore the interdependency among MDAs and private corporate organisations.

Odusanwo called on Nigerians to explore all available avenues for the country to benefit from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) initiative to boost the tourism industry through enhanced cooperation between the sector and air transport.

He stated that the symbiotic relationship between aviation and tourism was reflected at the global level in the respective mandates of ICAO and UNWTO, explaining that while ICAO sets standards and policies for aviation safety, security, efficiency, environmental protection and economic development of air transport.

On the other hand, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) promotes responsible sustainable and universally accessible tourism as a driver of economic growth and sustainable development.

Goodwill messages were received from several MDAs and the operators of the organised private sector who identified the annual event as a formidable platform to explore and deepen the synergy between tourism and transportation and their resolve to support and collaborate with the organisers for the successful hosting of the event annually.

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