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Tourism, transport summit set for next month

The third edition of the annual National Tourism and Transportation Summit and Expo (NTTS) earlier postponed as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic will hold next month (December) on 7th and 8th at the Abuja International Conference Centre (AICC). The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Repositioning tourism and transportation connectivity and mobility to revitalize the economy.’ Sub-themes to be discussed at the summit include: Repositioning the nation’s maritime for sustainable growth and improved contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP); Tourism and transportation interdependency: best practices and impact; Blue economy: Panacea to sustainable development of transportation and tourism in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Summit’s organizing committee, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, said as countries’ economies gradually pick up from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become important for different sectors of the Nigerian economy to re-strategise on how to get the nation’s economy back on track.

He said further: “It has been a trying period for individuals, families, organizations and nations; the NTTS was not an exception. We have been consulting daily and finally saw the need to still hold the Summit and Expo as one of the strategies to kick-start our sector of the economy.”

He said the NTTS is in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the current administration. He continued: “Among the various targets the plan seeks to achieve was the diversification of the nation’s economy from oil and gas to other sectors. Tourism, agriculture, mining et cetera, were some of the sectors that were targeted for diversification. The Institute of Tourism Professional, Nigeria looked at the current stand-alone nature of the Tourism Sector and decided to reach out to the Transportation Sector for an inter-sectoral handshake. We did that by sending a memorandum to the highest Policy decision body of the Transportation Sector – the National Council on Transportation (NCT) that held in Sokoto in 2017 deliberated and adopted that request to collaborate for the diversification purpose of the economy.”

Odusanwo said the NTTS, since 2018, has become an annual event and the 2020 edition would be bigger and better and that but for the COVID-19, some international participants had already confirmed their participation.

The NTTS head also said some other developments like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement which is going to be the largest single Free Trade Area among the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many more have made holding the summit of great importance.

While the summit is expected to be held on December 7 and 8 at AICC, the award and gala nite will be held in the evening of December 8 also at the AICC.

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