UNWTO Tourism Academy to commence operation in Nigeria before May – Minister

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

THE Federal Government says the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO),  has commenced the process of siting its Tourism Academy in Nigeria before the end of May.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this at a briefing with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister was briefing on the outcome of his recent visit to UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

He said the global tourism organisation had started working with the private sector to ensure the tourism academy come on board before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on May 29.

NAN recalls that UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili had in November 2022 in Lagos, announced that the organisation would be establishing three tourism academy in Africa.

Pololikashvili who spoke at the maiden  UNWTO Global Conference on Tourism and Creative Industry, had assured that one of the three institutions would be located in Nigeria.

The minister said during his visit to Madrid which was to review the Tourism Conference, the UNWTO tasked Nigeria to lead the process of a Single African Air Transport Market.

According to the minister, the Single African Air Transport Market is to ensure air connectivity among African countries in order to reduce the number of hours it takes  to travel within the continent.

He gave the instance where travelling from Nigeria to Tanzania currently takes 24 hours because of connecting flights whereas it ought to have taken just five hours with a direct flight.

Mohammed said Single African Air Transport Market would allow more African countries to be connected and promote tourism within the continent.

The minister also said that Nigeria had been given the right by UNWTO to host gastronomy festival

He said gastronomy which is mainly to promote indigenous foods is an important aspect of destination tourism.

Mohammed said the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation would champion the hosting of the event meant to promote the nation’s gastronomy globally.

He also assured that the event would hold before May 29 when the present administration would wind-up. (NAN)

A.