FTAN kicks against hosting UNWTO first conference
‘What Nigeria Needs Is Far Beyond Symbolic Show Or Circus Display’
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), has urged its members and other stakeholders in the culture and tourism value chain to stay clear of the gathering of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) First Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industries, billed to hold from November 14 to 17 at the newly renovated National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
In a statement signed by the President of FTAN, Nkereuwem Onung, the associations again reiterated their opposition to the staging of UNWTO’s event with reasons as to why stakeholders should not take part in it.
It would be recalled that in July this year, the body wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the conference, stating that UNWTO conference holds no good for the country other than using scare taxpayers money to fete a few government officials at an event that would not attract any tourist to Nigeria.
However, it should be noted that since the federation made public its stand on the conference, neither the Presidency nor the Ministry of Information and Culture headed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed has addressed the issues raised by FTAN.
Onung stated that the action of the Presidency and that the minister has authenticated the federation’s claim of disregard and neglect of the tourism sector and the plight of its operators by the Nigerian government.
To FTAN, the determination of the minister to host this conference is at the expense of the sector, which it rated to be at its lowest ebb in its history due to lack of attention to it by the Federal Government.
“UNWTO conference is a wild goose chase of no benefit to Nigeria and Nigerian cultural tourism and creative industries. The conference is a jamboree as it offers no enriching prospect or benefit for the development and promotion of Nigerian tourism and that of the operators. What the nation needs is far beyond the symbolic show or circus display which the conference represents,” FTAN declared.