Adopt realistic approach to reviewing tourism master plan — ANJET urges Technical Committee

Posted: December 18, 2016 in general

SavedPicture-20161218205728.jpgTravel and tourism writers in the country have commended the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed, for constituting a review committee for the stalled National Tourism Master plan; this is also they charged members of the committee to apply due diligence in the exercise of the responsibilities.
A statement by the group under its umbrella body, the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), Thursday, while advising the review committee ‘’to be realistic with a view to avoiding the pitfalls which bedevilled the implementation of the original masterplan launched in 2007,’ thumbed up the minister for initiating the committee to find a meaningful pathway for Nigerian tourism.
ANJET, in its statement, also assured of its readiness to formally present a position paper if requested by the technical committee on the review of the tourism, master plan.
While also lauding Mohammed, for keeping to his word by initiating the process, which is being spear headed with the involvement of an adviser seconded from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Mr. Jim Anthony Flannery, the tourism writers, however, noted that the tourism master plan failed because the committee along the line derailed in its set objectives.
“We want to commend the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for setting up this technical committee to review the tourism master plan. This itself has become imperative considering that original master plan has been abandoned since its launch by successive administrations that had continued to pay lip service to its implementation.
“It is our wish that this time around a perfect document will be produced.
“If called upon to present a position paper by the committee we are ready. We know the challenges in the industry largely because we are on ground.
“We are also using this medium to urge the members of the technical committee to be realistic with a view to avoiding the pitfalls which bedevilled the implementation of the original master plan launched in 2007
“We want the committee to be thorough in its work and ensure that the new plan is a representative of what exists in the country and reflect the reality on ground. In the same way as there is need for the new document to be attractive, simple and less burdensome so as to make it easy for anyone to understand and make the implementation equally simple with definite time line.
“The document must be able to create a tourism philosophy for the country, which is easily identifiable across the land and pursued by all with singleness of mind and purpose,” the ANJET statement read.
It would be recalled that the minister, Mohammed, Wednesday, November 23, inaugurated the Technical Committee for the Review of the country’s Tourism Master Plan, incidentally the third committee for that purpose, with a call to members of the committee to articulate realistic policies that will drive tourism from the periphery to the mainstream of the economy.
The Minister while admitting that even though the Tourism Master Plan was originally designed in 2006, a plan of action to implement it was abandoned half way hence the need for members of this committee to review it in consonance with contemporary challenges and realities and the peculiarities of Nigeria.
“This team is to review our own Tourism Master Plan and see which aspect of that Master Plan needs to be reviewed in consonance with what has happened both in terms of technology, politics and even in terms of climate change.
“We are talking about reasonable and sustainable tourism because what we are offering to the world in terms of cultural and natural resources are also dependent on Mother Nature, and you must make sure that we do not expend it or expose it in a manner that children unborn will not have anything to show for it,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said part of the drive of this administration to make tourism one of the pillars of the nation’s economy is the resuscitation of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) and the review of the Master Plan.
He said the Steering Committee on the PCT had already commenced the drafting of the Council’s agenda, which will be handed over to the President.
The Minister also disclosed the readiness of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to assist Nigeria in the review of the Master Plan, having contributed immensely to the drafting of the initial plan.
Members of the Review Committee include representatives from the Federal Ministries of Information and Culture, Interior, Budget and National Planning, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, as well as the National Association of Nigeria’s Travel Agencies.

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