Daily Archives: May 15, 2016

NTDC Signs Mou With Cote D’ivoire Tourisme

Tourism stakeholders and Entrepreneurs have applauded the efforts of the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], Sally Mbanefo for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Cote d’Ivoire Tourism Board on Tourism to boost and develop domestic tourism across the African region.

This assertion was made known during Cote D’Ivoire Economic Forum held recently in Lagos State
Speaking at the event, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation said “Our country needs to improve its production capacity and must invest in labour intensive sectors like tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. It is the only way to create jobs for the small and medium scale entrepreneurs, youth & women.

We have also been holding talks with Ghana tourism board as well as the South African tourism board. Two years ago we signed an MOU with the Gambia Tourism board soon as we signed the MOU, the first batch of my staff were approved for training & best practice exchange.

We will not stop until we achieve a West African Tourism Brand, so that when a tourist begins his trip in one African country they can conclude it in Nigeria to get a holistic approach to tourism in West African.

The Director General said “we want to encourage other African countries that have best practices for cocoa production, textile and fashion industries to collaborate with Nigeria to create jobs for youth. If our manufacturing and Agriculture industries are reawakened tourism would have contributed to job creation through such synergies with Cote D’Ivoire and other African countries where we can emulate their industry best practices”.

Mbanefo further emphasised that: we must encourage mechanised farming and industrialisation; I’m happy associations like Manufacturers Associations of Nigeria [MAN] whom I worked very closely with when I was in Lafarge Cement are here. The Fashion Industry is also a great opportunity to empower youth with skilled labour and grow small and medium scale enterprises.

According to the NTDC Boss, she said that the Corporation has been collaborating with Cote D’Ivoire Tourism Board for the past three years “They have been coming to the Corporation for collaboration between the two countries, the MOU signed today will unite us together and help to achieve the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] Tourism Brand Regional Alliance which NTDC has been working on with other African countries.

Mbanefo also noted that tourism value chain that touches every sector in the economy, for example tourism is leaving your house to seek business, leisure, sports, cultural or religious adventure the vehicle you use is either a car, bus, plane or train that is manufacturing benefitting, fuelling it benefits oil and gas sector and going to a bukka or restaurant to eat, benefits the Agricultural sector.

The Director General opined that NTDC is the apex Tourism promotion and marketing agency in Nigeria, our job is to market and promote the beautiful products of Nigeria like Cultural festivals, arts, Nollywood and our musicians and numerous eco-tourism products and link it up to the rest of Africa.

In her remarks, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire to Nigeria, Kone Maman Toure expressed appreciation to all the participants for honouring her invitation, she said “We will co-operate and partner with Nigeria in many areas such as Tourism, textiles, telecommunication, power, health and education.

Toure also said, “the Forum is a platform for Cote D’Ivoire to form an alliance with Nigeria to enable the two countries strengthen the existing areas and explore new fields of co-operation on a win-win situation and also reduce poverty in Africa”.

Taleb Appoints Favilla Lucca De Paula To Be Second In Charge

UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai dropped a bombshell yesterday at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Executive Council Meeting.

The respected tourism leader was given a lengthy standing ovation for his diligent service to the United Nations World Tourism Organization during yesterday’s Executive Council meeting in Malaga, Spain.

According to reliable eTN sources, the secretary General put the Executive Director for Operational Program and Institutional Relations Márcio Favilla Lucca de Paula from Brazil second in charge of UNWTO.

Rifai said Mr.de Paula would be taking over some important responsibilities in the leadership of UNWTO.
Mr Rifai however will remain in charge of the UNWTO Secretariat until 31 December 2017, end of his 4 years term as Secretary General.

According to eTN sources this move may be related due to health reasons.

Taleb Rifai stressed this has nothing to do with electives issues next year in regards to UNWTO’s expected election of a new secretary general.

Besides Zimbabwe also Morocco has announced candidacy to the new post.

It appears second in charge of UNWTO is now Favilla Lucca de Paula.

This move was the number one talk among ministers and delegates yesterday.

From April 2007, Mr. Favilla Lucca de Paula was Vice Minister of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency of Brazil.

Between January 2010 and December 2013 he held the position of UNWTO Executive Director for Competitiveness, External Relations and Partnerships.

Prior to this appointment, he was Brazil’s first Vice Minister of Tourism [2003-2007] where he played a key role in the structuring of the first exclusive Ministry of Tourism in Brazil.

During his term as Vice Minister of Tourism he was actively involved in the development and implementation of the 1st National Tourism Plan and worked to increase both tourism arrivals into the country as well as domestic tourism.

He was also engaged in many of UNWTO’s activities as Head of the Brazilian delegation to all General Assembly and Executive Council sessions and Chairman of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas in 2006.
From 1999 to 2002 he worked at the Ministry of Development, Industry and International Trade as Head of the National Department for Business Registry among other positions.

Mr. Favilla Lucca de Paula was in Belo Horizonte from 1980 to 1998, first at the Development Bank of Minas Gerais and then the State Secretariat for Finance of Minas Gerais.

Mr. Favilla Lucca de Paula has a MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, where he specialized in Regional Development Planning [1985-1986]. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais [1979].

Mr. Favilla Lucca de Paula is a Brazilian national, born in 1958.

Written By George Taylor.

UNWTO Names Luxor 2016 World Tourism Capital

Luxor, Egypt was unanimously chosen to be the world tourism capital for 2016 by the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO]. Luxor will also host the UNWTO meetings in October, 2016.

Egypt chaired the 103rd session held in Malaga, Spain on May 9 – 11, 2016 under the title “Tourism and Security: Towards a Framework for Safe, Secure and Seamless Travel”.

About 20 tourism ministers and delegations from more than 50 countries and representatives of 500 tourist organizations and agencies from 130 countries attended the session.

Luxor, Egypt was unanimously chosen by 50 countries to host the activities of the 104th session from October 30, 2016 to November 1, 2016.

During the session, Luxor, also, to host on November 1 – 3, 2016, the 5th Global Summit on City Tourism, where the participants are expected to exceed those who participated in Malaga meeting.

ATM 2016 Attracts Record 28,000 Visitors

Trade visitors to annual travel trade event grow 7%
9% increase in Buyers’ Club members

Arabian Travel Market [ATM] 2016 posted a 7% year-on-year rise in visitor numbers with more than 28,000 trade visitors attending the show, which took place from 25-28 April at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Leading with a topical mid-market theme, the initial results for the 23rd travel and tourism industry showcase, released by organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions, also recorded a 9% increase in the number of Buyers’ Club members, with a similar percentage hike in the number of other quality visitors such as VIPs, sponsors and speakers, compared to 2015.

“The initial estimated figures for this year’s show highlights ATM’s significance as a leading exhibition for the region’s travel and tourism sector, as an increasing number of destinations ramp-up efforts to drive travel and tourism as part of economic diversification and sustainability,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.

“The overall increase in visitor numbers and specifically the 9% rise in key buyers [those with budget responsibility for regional and international contracting] underscores ATM’s importance to trade buyers and also means ATM 2016 is poised to top last year’s record US$2.5 billion in business deals facilitated.

“This year’s popular mid-market theme also resonated with the region’s travel professionals – with many exhibitors leveraging opportunities to launch mid-tier brands as well as discussing strategies, developments and future trends during the ATM seminars,” added Noblet-Segers.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. The 2016 edition boasted an additional hall, with 423 main stand holders representing 86 countries, 64 country pavilions and over 100 new exhibitors making their debut.

Once again, the show welcomed a number of new initiatives including the launch of the ATM Global Stage, which opened the week’s proceedings with a high level panel discussion on the future of tourism in the UAE featuring leading industry leaders including Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation Travel and Commerce Marketing; Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority; H.E Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

Others are, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq; Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline; Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism, Dubai Holding and Honorary President, Jumeirah Group and Aligi Gardenghi, VP Marketing EMEA and Commercial Director MEA, Hilton.

Also new for 2016 was the Wellness & Spa Lounge, a dedicated space for 25 exhibitors which connected Middle East wellness and spa buyers with international suppliers; the inaugural Travel Agent Academy; and, in line with the show’s ongoing focus on technological innovation, the first-ever ATM Bloggers’ Speed Networking session, at which 40 travel bloggers met with interested exhibitors.

More than 50 seminar and tech theatre sessions took place over the course of the show while the ATM Best Stand Awards returned for a second year, with some delighted winners including The Address Hotels + Resorts, flydubai and Amadeus IT Group. Finally, the New Frontiers Awards recognised Taiwan.

We Will Make Culture, Tourism Bedrock of Nigeria’s Economy – Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the ministry would make culture and tourism the bedrock of the Nigeria’s economy.

The minister made this known recently at the gala night of the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism in Abuja.

“In this summit, we have brought together all the people that can make the culture and tourism industry work.

“We have stakeholders from both the public and private sectors that are well grounded in culture and tourism.

“What we want to do is to let the world know that the culture and tourism portfolio is as attractive as Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” he said.

The minister advised members of staff of the ministry and its agencies not to feel rejected given the current government establishments’ structure.

He gave assurance that the sector would be made money-spinner for government and the pride among establishments for public and civil servants.

Earlier in a welcome address, Ayotunde Adesugba, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry said the gathering would design ways culture and tourism would impact on other sectors.

“The summit will highlight the critical sectors of culture and tourism with a view to create job opportunities, and improve other sectors like agriculture, transport and manufacturing.

“Culture and tourism have become dominant sectors in many countries around the world and the drivers of their economies.

“Nigeria must take the advantages of its rich, diverse and abundant culture and tourism potentials,” she said.

Adesugba thanked participants and delegates to the conference and urged them to contribute their best to make culture and tourism the bedrocks of the Nigerian economy.

The gala night featured performances by the National Dance Troupe, which showcased the nation’s diverse and rich cultural heritage in dances.

There was also an exhibition of artefacts, artistic and intellectual works which were inspected by the minister.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed is now kicking himself now that he knew that the summit that he dissipated so much energy, time and money on would not be implemented after all.

The reason according to experts is the victory of Lagos State Government over the Federal Government on Friday 19th of July 2013.

Six papers were presented at the Summit, namely “Culture in a Diversified Economy” presented by Mr. Frank Aig-Imoukhuede; “Tourism in a Diversified Economy” presented by H.E. Mr. Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State and “Tourism in a Diversified Economy” presented by Chief Tomi Akingbogun, President of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN].

Others are, “Culture in a Diversified Economy” presented by Professor Sule Bello, ABU Zaria ; “Developing Data Bank in the Culture and Tourism Industry” presented by National Bureau of Statistics; and “Private Sector Perspective of Nigerian Culture and Tourism” presented by Bolanle Austen-Peters of Terra Kulture.

At the end of very exhaustive deliberations, the following observations and recommendations were considered and adopted: That Culture and Tourism sector is a big industry; it cuts across many sectors, namely; agriculture, business, transportation, health, sports, aviation, information, technology, architecture among others.

It is arguably the biggest means of economic growth. Nigeria cannot afford to ignore the sector while other Nations are reaping the immense socio-economic benefits derivable from this global vibrant sector.

For consistency and continuity in government policies at all levels are non-negotiable to develop the sector. To this end, Nigeria should muster the political will to accord the sector preferred status to effectively develop it.

To create positive image for our national buildings, corporate offices and edifices, there is need to adorn them with Nigerian artworks. The interior and exterior decorations of private and public corporate offices of our political leaders, chief executives, and Nigerian missions abroad should make strong cultural statements. The Presidency should lead the way by ensuring that the furniture in the President’s office, etc., are designed by our master carvers, painters and other artists.

There is the need for Nigerian cultural icons, both living and dead, to be celebrated so as to inspire the younger generations to strive hard for excellence; and the change mantra of the Federal Government can only succeed if the culture and tourism sector provides the fulcrum to drive it. Community theatre projects, musical concerts and visual designs are very effective tools for re-orientating the citizenry from bottom-up.

The summit also agreed that there is need to imbibe the culture of research and documentation, to have records and statistical data readily available on the sector to aid planning. In this regard, it is necessary to make genuine, urgent and integrated efforts for the production of credible culture and tourism statistics and Tourism Satellite Account [TSA].

The government should engage stakeholders in concluding the nationwide Mapping of Creative Industries whose pilot was conducted by the British Council, National Bureau of Statistics [NBS [and Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists [SONTA] in 2013.

That the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria [MOPICON] and Theatre Arts Regulatory Council bills need to be harmonized into one bill, which government could present to the National Assembly for timely legislative action. This is in line with the need to urgently regulate the sector and maintain high ethical standards.

The summit also gave more stringent legislation need to be in place to protect national monuments from the growing cases of wilful destruction across the country. Measures should be put in place to protect the nation’s cultural sites during times of conflict by engendering communal ownership of such sites, as well as Museums and indigenous languages/cultural/crafts centres should be made part of requirements for building schools across the country in order to orientate our younger generations on our history and cultural values as part of their education.

A for the promulgation of law to compel Local Government Councils to establish and maintain community museums and craft centres, and fund at least one community festival yearly. This will facilitate the production of a reliable cultural calendar for the country to attract tourists.

There is need for Mr. President to showcase the country’s rich culture through the use of cultural troupes as part of his international engagements. Similarly, Nigerians in the Diaspora should be actively involved in our cultural promotion strategies.

Branding of the Nation is paramount. There is need to revisit the “Good People, Great Nation” project and engage in aggressive advocacy for “Visit Nigeria” on international and social media platforms.

Religious tourism needs to be treated as a viable economic activity, which could contribute to the national economy through taxation. Government must take interest in tracking movements of funds by the Islamic, Christian and traditional religious groups, and that government needs to ensure implementation of the 2010 FEC Memo on “Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture”, which requires civil servants and VIPs to adorn Nigerian dresses on Fridays.

For Nigeria to borrow a leaf from China which has been able to package its fashion and local cuisines, her rich fashion industry and local cuisines could be packaged and marketed to attract international attention and patronage to enhance the country’s foreign exchange earnings and boost its economy.

Revive the Presidential Council on Tourism [PCT], chaired by Mr. President with all the State Governors as members, this should be resuscitated to ginger accelerated development of culture and tourism in the country.

Effective tourism development requires rebranding, and a “National Carrier” to market the country’s cultural products and generate revenue. In this regard, government needs to put in place all the necessary machinery to ensure that Nigeria has a National Carrier to be managed under a “PPP” arrangement, the summit noted.

The communiqué also noted that the ministry does not properly portray Nigeria as a country where culture and tourism is at the front burner of development. It stated that the ministry should be renamed, “Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism”, to adequately reflect its mandate.