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Sustainability tops agenda as stakeholders set for tourism, transport expo 2020

By Chuks Nwanne
21 March 2020   |   4:15 am
In line with the ongoing efforts to diversity Nigeria’s economy through tourism, which has been described as he lowest hanging fruit, stakeholders and operators...

In line with the ongoing efforts to diversity Nigeria’s economy through tourism, which has been described as he lowest hanging fruit, stakeholders and operators across the travel and tourism sectors of the economy will converge in Abuja on April 27, for this year’s edition of the Transport Tourism Summit Expo.

The two-day event holding at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, will provide practitioners with an opportunity to brainstorm on sustainable growth and development in the Siamese twin sectors of transportation and tourism.

Now in its third edition, the event, which has the theme: Transportation Connectivity and Mobility for Sustainable Growth and Development, is premised on the drive by the government to reposition the economy through a vibrant transportation and tourism sector.

Speaking on the summit, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Chief Abiodun Odusanwo FITPN, said ‘‘Tourism and Transportation connectivity are critical issues relating to bridging the policies of both sectors, while reaffirming the need for developing programmes of inter-ministerial cooperation between bodies responsible for tourism and transport so as to improve and strengthen the basic conditions for the sustainable development of both industries.”

Odusanwo noted that the summit was created to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the national economy.

“It offers a unique opportunity to meet with regulators, decision makers, influencers, technocrats, specifiers, investors and highly engaged delegates from tourism, aviation, maritime, railways, airport operations, road transportation, national and international travel and transportation organisations, including operators in the tourism and hospitality value chain.’’

Expected to lead deliberations at the summit are The Presidency, which will shed light on the policy direction of the Federal government, while the Minister of Transportation, ChibuikeRotimiAmaechi, alongside the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator GbemisolaSaraki and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed will lead discussion on transportation and tourism.

For the aviation trade, the Minister of Aviation, Senator HadiSirika will take the lead, while other presenters and keynote speakers will be drawn from captains of the sectors, is international organisations, trade associations and MDAs under the Federal Ministries of Transportation, Information and Culture.

Odusanwo also revealed that the exhibition aspect of the summit and expo will be an enriching one with emphasis on B2B and G2B, which will expose attendees to a plethora of public private partnership investment opportunities in the transportation and tourism public sectors, with companies showcasing their products and services.

‘‘It will also provide a rare opportunity for high level government officials to discuss and get insight from both domestic and international investors fostering joint ventures, domestic and foreign direct investments,’’ he hinted, adding, “Experts and professionals drawn from the academia, as well as key players and stakeholders in the industries, will deliver thought provoking papers on carefully selected sub – themes of the summit, which include: Tourism in a hyper connection world; Making technology work for the tourism and transportations sectors; Potentialities of developing regional inter-connectivity in Africa; Inter-modal connectivity, Traveller safety and security; Development of critical infrastructure; and the Ease of doing business in Nigeria -The case of tourism and transportation industries and building capacity for global best practice in the tourism and transportation sectors.”

Some of the programmes slated for the summit and expo to include: Mr. and Miss Tourism Transportation Pageant, which is scheduled for March 28; The Host City Walk billed for April 25; and the Awards and Dinner/Gala Night slated for April 28, while the summit and expo will climax with a Host City Tour on April 29.

‘‘The events as a whole offers a unique opportunity for policy makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, key players in both the tourism and transport sectors of the economy, investors, numerous esteemed customers and the general public estimated at 5,000 to engage in an All-participatory discourse aimed at charting the desired synergy, collaboration and connective inter-play between the two sectors for maximum economic benefits of the country,” said Odusanwo, who is also the president of the Institute of Tourism Professional of Nigeria (ITPN).

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Rochas Okorocha, has thrown his weight behind the summit, urging the Federal Government to focus attention on tourism as its remains the only viable non – oil sector to revamp the dwindling economic fortune of the country.

Okorocha stated this when he played host to the leadership of the Institute of Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), led by the National President, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo.

The former governor of Imo State, who pledged the commitment and support of his committee to the forthcoming National Transportation and Tourism Summit and Expo 2020, said despite the security challenges facing the country, “tourism remains the surest way of getting Nigeria’s economy out of the woods if it is properly harnessed with the right policy and management in place.”

The Senator said his committee would help to revitalise and reposition the country’s tourism for better performance and optimally raise the bar of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by attracting investment and job creation.

While commending and appreciation the Odusanwo – led ITPN for the visit, Okorocha pledged the support and collaboration of his committee with ITPN for the successful hosting of this year’s edition of the National Transportation and Tourism Summit and Expo.

Odusanwo acquainted the senator with the remix of ITPN and the preparations for the hosting of the summit and expo, even as he sought for the collaboration and support of his committee towards hosting a successful summit.

He reiterated that the summit and expo has since its inception brought about added value to the synergy and connectivity that existed between tourism and transportation and how both can collectively contribute to the growth and development of the country’s economy.