President Muhammadu Buhari says hosting the Global Conference on Tourism, Culture and Creative Industry in Nigeria will bring the country’s leisure and business sectors in contact with potential investors.
The president stated this when he visited the headquarters of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday.
The right to host the UNWTO first-ever Global Conference on Tourism, Culture and Creative Industry was granted to Nigeria in May this year, and to be held at the newly refurbished National Theatre in Lagos, by November.
He assured the global community that Nigeria would deliver a world-class reception to participants at the upcoming Global Conference, which had been scheduled to hold in Lagos this November.
The president stated that the Global Conference would be an opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its warm hospitality and world-class leisure industry to the rest of the world,
According to him, there are yet countless wonders and beauty hidden in the country, which the world had yet to witness.
Buhari said granting the Conference’s hosting right to Nigeria served as proof of the country’s support for the organization, as well as an affirmation of the confidence reposed in the country by the UNWTO.
”The event provides yet another opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its tourism and creative industry to the world.
“The Global Conference will also serve as an opportunity to extend our hospitality to the world and introduce the country’s leisure and business sectors to potential investors.
“We have not-so-well-known wonders to reveal.
“I want to assure you that Nigeria is ready to deliver a world-class conference this November and we assure all participants from within and outside the country of a safe and secure environment as well as excellent facilities”, he assured.
In his address at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said since the hosting agreement was signed, Nigeria had gone to work in preparation for the maiden event.
He re-emphasised the president’s assurance that the conference would showcase to the world the secret of Nigeria’s leadership in the areas of culture, tourism, music, film, gastronomy, fashion, photography, and many more.
“We hope to leverage on the conference to showcase what makes Nigeria tick in culture, tourism, music, film, gastronomy, fashion, photography, etc, and why Nigeria has become a global leader in music and film, especially.
“Today’s visit of Mr President to the UNWTO headquarters has given a great boost to our efforts to host a successful conference in November and we thank Mr President for taking time out to visit”, he said.
Also Speaking, the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, welcomed President Buhari, noting that his visit was a confirmation of how important tourism is to Nigeria.
“Your visit is a direct confirmation of how important tourism is to Nigeria.
”You are the second from Africa to ever visit us but the very first from such a big country with huge resources in culture, nature and diversity.
“We have a long-term commitment with Nigeria to develop tourism and attract more and more tourists to Nigeria.
”The numbers are very small at the moment and I think it’s a shame. Nigeria has to receive much more tourists to see the beauty and meet the people”, he said.