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Economic growth tops agenda as travel Nigeria summit holds today

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Eko Atlantic City Waterfront<br />


The Eko Atlantic City Waterfront, Victoria Island, Lagos, will come alive today, as stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry gather for this year’s Nigeria Travel and tourism Summit, otherwise known as Travel Nigeria. Conceived to deepen on-going discussions, stimulate measurable actions and provide the most inclusive solutions on how to convert Nigeria’s tourism assets into economic growth and prosperity, the summit will feature both conference and exhibition.

According to the director Steve Ike, Travel Nigeria will will gather the most influential travel/tourism players, industry professionals and policy makers for a full day of expert-led conferences and tailored networking events to learn, share, discuss and chart a new path for the Nigerian travel/tourism industry.

With the theme, Innovating, Collaborating and Growing to Restore the Travel and Tourism Industry in Nigeria, Travel Nigeria will also host premier and only business-facing and consumer-facing travel and tourism exposition in Nigeria. It is, however, billed as an event of international standards aimed at promoting the travel and tourism business in Nigeria and developed to promote tourism as an engine for economic growth across the country.

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According to Ike, Nigeria, like other countries on the African continent, is keen to convert our favourable demographics in relation to tourism into economic growth and prosperity. He noted that Nigeria’s tourism potential provides some of the best opportunities, adding that the organisers have designed the event to set the tone for how tourism can be utilised as an engine for economic growth and job creation through innovative business models, new technologies and strategic partnerships.

The event will also provide a platform to network and explore new tourism markets and products, including the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and wildlife.

“To address the impact of the geopolitical, economic and societal challenges facing the Nigerian travel/tourism industry and create new sources of growth, stakeholders need to adapt and rethink their strategies by collaborating with fellow players and creating new forms of philosophies. The Travel Nigeria summit is designed to offer insights, inspiration and solution-oriented tools to turn these philosophies into actions,” he said.

Meanwhile, stakeholders during the sessions would deliberate on five key issues namely natural assets, infrastructure, financing, policy and strategy and technology. The summit will cover current burning issues affecting the industry, as well as delve in detail into opportunities in travel and tourism, and will allow participants to be wholly updated on the market by some of the most senior experts in the sector.

The summit will look at the roles and opportunities for all players in the market, including investors, financiers, government, ICT providers, development agencies and their related advisers, while networking with the leading professionals in tourism from across the country.

Travel Nigeria will offer stakeholders a platform for discussing and sharing experiences, and deliberating on innovative interventions to support the growth of the nation’s economy through the development of a vibrant tourism sector.  The summit is expected to generate actionable recommendations that will transform the tourism landscape and create new opportunities across the country.

Aside from the national conference, the summit will feature an exhibition show that will provide opportunity for travel and tourism organisations, state governments, and other service providers in the sector to showcase destinations, products, services and technologies.

Meanwhile, experts have identified lack of clear destination marketing strategy and synergy among stakeholders as the bane of Nigerian travel and tourism sector. The 2017 Annual Economic Reports of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimated that air travel and tourism in Nigeria contributed 1.7 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016.

The sectors, in cash flow, contributed a total of N1.861 billion, which ranked Nigeria 171st among 185 countries; 180th on the growth rate and 105th on the long-term growth rate index. While Nigeria lags behind, travel and tourism in The Gambia contribute nine per cent to the GDP, with 63.7 per cent foreign visitors. The Gambia ranks 164th in growth rate and 34th in long-term growth.

Similarly, travel and tourism in Rwanda contribute 4.5 per cent of the GDP, with 60.2 per cent foreign visitors. Rwanda ranks sixth in growth rate and fourth (compared with Dubai) in long-term growth rate projection.

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