• Friday, June 21, 2024
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WTD 2022: FTAN tasks government on tourism funding, investment

WTD 2022: FTAN tasks government on tourism funding, investment

Nkereuwem Onung, president, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to rethink the level of investment and funding for tourism in Nigeria through increased budget allocation.

Onung stated that the budget profile should increase the capital budget to exceed recurrent one.

Speaking at the 2022 World Tourism Day Celebration at Tarkwa Bay in Lagos with the theme: ” Rethinking Tourism” , Onung urged the Federal Government to rethink merging tourism parastatals, but rather to empower them to meet their mandates or better still give tourism a stand-alone ministry.

FTAN President noted that it is time for Nigeria to have a tourism master plan and rejig her tourism policies if they exist.

He explained that the WTD is a time to come together to celebrate the many and varied accomplishments of the sector.

In his words: “Today, we celebrate the resilience and survival of the industry and her investments from the deadly Covid-19 Pandemic.

“Let me also salute the resilience and courage of the tourism community and sympathize with those who lost jobs, money, and businesses the world over.

“This year, the city of Bali in Indonesia plays host to the world for World Tourism Day 2022. In his official message in preparing to host this year’s WTD, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said that the pandemic highlighted the critical need to transform the tourism industry and now we finally celebrate World Tourism Day as the global tourism slowly recovers. As emphasized by the theme: “Rethinking Tourism”, I believe the time is now to begin this transformation.”

“While this is truly significant and speaks to the plight of the global tourism industry, it is important to add that in Nigeria we must rethink tourism beyond the pandemic because our recovery requires a much deeper dive.”

Onung observed that tourism in Nigeria has suffered pre-pandemic, during the pandemic and is still suffering post-pandemic.

The FTAN president noted that the crisis has inspired and catalyzed creativity and accelerated the transformation of work, bringing both challenges as well as enormous opportunities to ensure even more people get to benefit from tourism restart, stressing that in rethinking tourism there is need to transform.

Read also: Nigeria to rethink aquatic potential on World Tourism Day

He pointed out that:”For us in FTAN, the boat cruise from Tarzan jetty in Victoria Island to Tarkwa bay beach is our way of domesticating this year’s theme to focus on Lagos waterways and showcase the beauty of exploring the stretch of abundant Lagos coastlines for tourism purposes. In rethinking Tourism let us look in the way of the water economy in Lagos state, Nigeria.

“As a Federation, our rebranding strategy and transformation agenda is contained in our TRIAC mandate and emphasizes on training, research, and domestic tourism promotions.

“In the spirit of 2022 WTD celebrations, we have taken steps to form strong alliances in tourism and its allied sector to partner on grey areas that we found important to enable us move tourism to an enviable level. Lobbying is one area we need to adopt to enable us to play our role as an organized private sector. Partnership and collaboration will be as important to move our tourism promotions and businesses forward”.

The FTAN president called on all tourism leaders, government officials and everyone at the base of the broad and diverse tourism pyramid to pause, reflect and rethink what we do and how we do it.

According to him: “As such, we must rethink, how we think tourism, how we do tourism, the need for collaboration, digitalization of the industry, domestic tourism promotions and activities, purposeful and healthy lobbying to create an enabling environment for FTAN and the well over 20 associations under it.”

He stated that the success of the celebration would not have been achieved without the Local Organizing Committee of the WTD 2022 under the chairmanship of the president of ATBOWTAN, Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun, the managing director/CEO of Tarzan Jetty and Water Transport service.

Onung lauded the unwavering support of the FTAN BOT chairman, Sam Alabi who has continued to do his kind bid for FTAN’s growth including other sponsors and supporters of the 2022 WTD celebrations.

In the words of Onung: “Tonight at the Tourism Icon Award, we will be honouring our Tourism Icons. Our Tourism Icon Awards has become a platform to encourage and celebrate individuals with excellent leadership qualities, outstanding achievements and performances that have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Tourism industry in Nigeria.

“We will be appreciating the DG NIHOTOUR for galvanizing the industry towards training and gastronomy.

We will appreciate Mama WEBISCO for how consistent she was in the promotion of tourism both locally and internationally and also the Lagos State Governor for his outstanding performance that has put Lagos State on the map as a tourism hub in Nigeria”.