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Experts welcome FG’s move to review 10 year tourism master plan

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Many Nigerians have reacted to the recent inauguration of a Technical Committee for the Review of the nation’s Tourism Master Plan by the federal government, saying though belated, it will grow the sector and remove some of the observed bottlenecks frustrating the sector.

According to Chief Val Ndubuako, a hotel developer and owner in Lagos, “The 10 year old tourism master plan had been obsolete for a long time and we need to move closer to reality by reviewing it”.

“Tourism has moved from mere places of interest to customized hotelling business. You are aware that there is little or no tourism sites in Dubai, but the economy to some extend is driven by tourism.

“The reason is because the government of that country has done the necessary reforms to empower hoteliers and factor them in to the tourism mater plan and not only sites of antiquities’.

“My fear is whether hoteliers are part of the committee so that our interest will be protected.

While corroborating Chief Ndubuako, Segun Adejare, another hotel owner in Lagos said “These are the kinds of thing the government would have done since they were elected so that by now, we may not have been in this recession. To me government is just waking up from slumber after observing that oil prices cannot rise with speed again.

Adejare was of the view that “In any effort to review where we are and where we are heading to in tourism, we must factor in security of tourists at all times.

Business Hilights recalls that while inaugurating the committee, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said government was committed to moving tourism from the margin to the mainstream of the nation’s economy.

He said the committee would review the nation’s tourism master plan to conform to the current trends and go a long way in repositioning the tourism sector.

The minister recalled that the past administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo realised the need to develop the tourism sector and put up a master plan for the country in 2005.

According to him, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation made huge contributions to the development of the master plan.

He, however, regretted that committee set up to develop framework for the implementation of the master plan failed in its assignment and that nothing was done to bring the plans to fruition.

The minister said that during his recent visit to the headquarters of UNWTO in Madrid, Spain, the world tourism body volunteered to assist the country in the review of the master plan.

He disclosed that a team of experts from UNWTO would arrive in the country on December 4 and work with the committee in the review process.

The minister said government believed in the capability of members of the committee, stressing that the UNWTO experts would only assist them to achieve a globally acceptable master plan for the country.


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