First World Conference On Tourism Development Holds In Beijing
… NTDC Calls For Private Partnership In Tourism Sector
While Nigerian government foot-drags about her plan to diversify her economy through Tourism, other countries of the world have continued to engage in discussions to further boost their tourism sector.
Other African countries like The Gambia, South Africa, Kenya and others have continued to invest more into Tourism and the percentage of the GDP, the sector generates for their economy has been on the increase.
Even the government of Republic of China and The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has completed plans to organize the First World Conference on Tourism for Development billed for Beijing on 18-21 May 2016.
The conference titled ‘Tourism for Peace and Development’ is geared towards kick starting a high level debate on the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to a statement issued by UNWTO, the high level segment of the conference on ‘Sustainable Development through Tourism’ will analyze how to advance the contribution of tourism to the 17 SDGs, including the sector’s ability to create jobs, promote local culture and be an agent of change towards more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices.
The program, which will be moderated by CNN anchor and correspondent, Richard Quest, will also focus on how countries can align their national development strategies with the SDGs and the role of public and private partnerships in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Speaking on the conference, Secretary-General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai said: “Tourism is one of the most dynamic economic sectors, with significant global reach, and as such can make an important contribution to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly in the areas of job creation, sustainable consumption and production and the preservation of natural resources”.
Rifai noted that the conference will be complemented with two high level sessions focusing on: ‘Tourism for Poverty Reduction’ which will discuss how governments, the international community, the private sector, and academia can collaborate to enhance tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction and how to better integrate the marginalized and disadvantaged groups, particularly youth and women, into the global tourism value chain.
The positive impact of tourism is behind the decision of Chinese authorities to launch the 13th, Five-year plan period, a nationwide tourism development plan to lift 17 percent of the country’s impoverished population out of poverty by 2020.
According UNWTO, CNTA and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China expect that by 2020, three million rural tourism businesses will be receiving two billion annual visitors, lifting two million of China’s rural population out of poverty every year”.
When asked of what Nigerian government is doing to boost the tourism sector, the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo said the government has too many issues to handle at this time when the country is faced with economic downturn.
She encouraged private sectors to invest in tourism as the benefit is huge.
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