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For WTD 2022, FTAN takes practitioners to Tarkwa Bay

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
25 September 2022   |   3:39 am
The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) is set to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) in Lagos. September 27 is the day earmarked by United Nations for the celebration of tourism.

President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN)Nkereuwem Onung

• To Promote Lagos Aquatic Splendour • Honours Sanwo-Olu, Kangiwa, Fabiyi

The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) is set to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) in Lagos. September 27 is the day earmarked by United Nations for the celebration of tourism.

Speaking with the media at a pre-2022 WTD press conference held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, President of the FTAN, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, said the day is an opportunity to celebrate the sector’s accomplishments.

Onung, who reechoed the message of the Secretary General of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, that this year, “We must Rethink Tourism,” said: “FTAN, in the next one year, will be promoting aquatic tourism and ensuring that jobs are created through the sector.”

Pololikashvili, had, in his message to celebrate the day, said: “As the world opens up again, we must learn the lessons of the pandemic and the associated pause in international travel. In exposing weaknesses, the crisis showed us where we can build more resilience. And in exposing inequalities, it also showed us where we can deliver more fairness.”

The global tourism boss had also noted in the message, “every part of the sector, from UNWTO and governments at the top down to destinations and small businesses at the bottom, must rethink how we get there. This will require restructuring business models so that they put people first. Tourism has always worked for young people, for women and for communities. But now it must truly work with them as well. We need new voices as well as new ideas if we are to transform our sector and build a better tourism for all.

“Rethinking one of the world’s major economic sectors will not be easy. But we are already well on the way. Crisis has inspired and catalysed creativity. And the pandemic accelerated the transformation of work, bringing both challenges as well as enormous opportunities to ensure even more people get to benefit from tourism’s restart. We are also making significant progress in making tourism a central driver of the green, the blue and the digital economies; ensuring growth does not come at the expense of people or planet.

“We are only just getting started. The potential of tourism is enormous, and we have a shared responsibility to make sure it is fully realised. On World Tourism Day 2022, UNWTO calls on both tourism leaders and everyone at the base of the broad and diverse tourism pyramid to pause, reflect and rethink what we do and how we do it. The future of tourism starts today.”

MEANWHILE, To stimulate tourism at domestic level, Onung pointed out that FTAN, as the umbrella body of all the tourism associations in Nigeria, with well over 25 associations, has decided to makE the celebration more elaborate by organising a boat cruise on Lagos waterways.

He added, “we are looking at how government can focus on this aspect of the economy, invest more in it, make the waterways safe for all and neat… a lot of revenue can be generated there.”

While stating that this year’s theme of WTD (Rethink Tourism) is pivotal to the move by stakeholders world over to reactivate activities for tourism to blossom again, the FTAN president reiterated the commitment of members to put in place, action plans that would stimulate the industry.

Onung said: “This edition is going to be more interesting, as we are not only consolidating on our practical effort of making activities of the federation relevant, but also reinventing newer ways to make our engagement all inclusive.

“We are also using this year to honour three personalities that have made a mark in their different field as public and private sector individual, and they include Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Founder of WEBISCO, Chief (Mrs.) Margaret Bolanle Idowu Fabiyi, Director-General, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa.”

National President of Association of Tourists Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Alhaji Gani Tarzan Balogun, who doubles as the Chairman of 2022 World Tourism Day Committee, said that all packages put together by the FTAN to making the celebration a worthwhile is going to be put in place.

Balogun pointed out that the Takwa Bay Beach was chosen because of the moderate tide, which “allows people to engage in water activities and the neatness of the water.”

He said: “We will be taking off from Tarzan Jetty, Victoria Island, by 10:00 am, with over 30 boats on a cruise to Takwa Bay where world Tourism Day fiesta is going to hold with exciting educating entertaining features.”

On security, the President of ATBOWTAN appreciated the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police for their efforts in collaborating with FTAN to host the biggest boat cruise in Nigeria.

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