The maiden edition of the National Transport and Tourism Summit [NTTS] was held last month at the International Conference Centre [ICC], Abuja.
The well-attended event attracted participants from the maritime, land transport, aviation and tourism industry. It also had participants from the academia, federal ministries, parastatals and the states.
The event which started with a city walk on some designated streets of Abuja, ended with a sumptuous gala.
The aim of the summit according to Abiodun Odusanwo, President, Institute of Tourism Professionals [ITP], the body that conceptualized the event was to focus on the relationship between tourism and transport with the view of focusing the papers and discussions on highlighting global perspectives and how Nigeria can queue into global practices.
In his welcome address on the occasion, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Grace Isu Gekpe, praised the organizers of the summit and harped on the link between the tourism and transportation sectors.
Amongst topics for the plenary sessions included: Tourism and transportation interdependencies for the mutual growth and sustainable development; Marketing destination-what role for transport sector; Building capacity for global best practices in the tourism and transportation sectors; Licensing regulations and oversight-meeting international standards for sustainable development of transportation and tourism.
“On the cross-sectorial participation, if you look into those that made presentations, we had many chief executives of parastatals.
According to Odusanwo who was also the chairman of the organizing committee noted that “this is one of those occasions where we have chief executives across sectors from mass transportation, aviation, tourism and academia”..
“For them to participate in this maiden edition, it means one, it shows the level of trust; two, it underscores the importance of having a transport and tourism summit. They have seen really that the connectivity that should have been in place.
They have now realized that there is a need for it. That is one of the positives outcomes of the summit.
“We are glad that the Minister of Information, Culture and tourism who was represented by the Permanent Secretary; Minister of Transportation and Minister of State for Aviation and chief executives of agencies that are decision makers that were attendance was a positive outcome for the summit.
Also important is that this summit is as a result of the council decision in Sokoto in 2017.
“In the next one, they will report back on what transpired and most of the people that would make these reports are here at the summit. It is at that next council meeting that the communiqué will also be mentioned as part of the papers.
We are going to come out with recommendations. It is that recommendations that would lead to the subsequent positions that the ministries would take.”
Speaking on the summit, the President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN], Saleh Rabo, praised the organizers for the initiative and the huge success recorded.
His words: “It is a welcome development because tourism as we know cannot thrive without transportation. We cannot get to a destination. Transportation could be air, road, rail or sea.