UNWTO confirms Nigeria as host of African Tourism Ministers’ confab

Posted: June 18, 2012 in travel & tourism

 United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], has formally confirmed Nigeria as the host of its 53rd meeting of the Commission for Africa [CAF] summit, a regional meeting for African Tourism Ministers according to information revealed by Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke.

The summit slated for Calabar, the Cross River State capital from June 25-27, this year under the theme; Responsible Tourism: Opportunities for Women and Youth, is expected to be attended by all 54 African countries and territories that are affiliate members of the UNWTO.

Duke who was at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain, for the executive council meeting of the global tourism monitoring organisation to brief the council on Nigeria’s preparation and readiness to host the summit, further noted that the ‘opportunity to host such an important, continental tourism ministers’ session will bring immense benefits not only for the industry but also for the country.

“The decision for Nigeria to host the meeting was taken last year in South Korea during the UNWTO General Assembly meeting,” said the minister who is also a member of the council.

Duke who disclosed that other countries that bid against Nigeria’s hosting of the meeting had cited insecurity as a challenge but the argument failed to dissuade UNWTO which ratified its earlier decision that awarded the country the hosting rights of the tourism conference. .

He said the hosting of the regional tourism confab will afford the country the opportunity to redefine its image, showcase itself as a place for conferences and exhibitions with warm people and clean environment.

“Apart from tourism ministers that are participating, top UNWTO officials, including its Secretary-General from its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, top government officials from the participating countries as well as state governors and stakeholders in Nigeria will also be in attendance,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Cross River State has accepted the request to host the event; with Governor Liyel Imoke saying that the UNWTO meeting is important to tourism development in the continent, and for Nigeria in particular.

Imoke said that the forum would be an opportunity for the state to share its vision with the rest of Africa and the global community.

Nigeria will be hosting the meeting for the second time in six years, with Abuja being the first to do so in 2008.

Nigeria has been actively taking part in the UNWTO activities as available records show that it was through similar active participation in the past that enabled a Nigerian, late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi to propose the marking of every September 27 as World Tourism Day, a feat that he was honoured for with a recognition award in 2009 by the UNWTO.

Nigeria’s interest in UNWTO activities has been rekindled with the election of the country’s current Tourism Minister Chief Edem Duke into the UN body’s Executive Council as he is also presently chairman of the CAF (Commission for Africa) Tourism Ministers.

The Executive Council is UNWTO’s governing board, responsible for ensuring that the organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget. The Council meets at least twice a year and is composed of Members elected by the General Assembly in a ratio of one for every ‎five Full Member.

  1. Andy O. Ehanire says:

    I trust Chief Duke to always engage in jamborees without attending the fundamental issues in tourism development. We as a nation are too well known for putting money down the drain – or in pockets, with all seriousness. When are we going to attend to our tourism hotspots or put in entries for prizes in global tourism best practices? I had challenged Duke to come up with his comprehensive Tourism Agenda for scrutiny, discourse and ownership by stakeholders rather than flying blind. We are still waiting, Hon Minister.

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