By Our Correspondent
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has cited Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and comparative advantage in the creative industry as the reasons for choosing the country to present African culture to the world.
The UNWTO Secretary General, Mr Zurab Pololikashvilli, announced this at the opening of an expert workshop of the Organisation’s maiden Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industry, on Monday in Lagos.
The NewsZenith reports that the three-day conference is being held at the National Arts Theatre, which is under renovation.
Addressing participants at the workshop, Pololikashvili said that African culture has not been presented outside of the continent like it should be.
He noted that the strategy adopted by the UNWTO to address the challenge was to bring all its partners under one umbrella to hold the maiden conference and to agree on the modalities to promote African culture outside of the continent.
“I do not think that there is a better place to start the legacies than Nigeria and at this vertical theatre, a historical landmark of the country undergoing renovation.
“We want to support and promote African culture and creative industry to tourists all around the world.
“So, our presence here today is the first pilot project to promote the culture of Africa, from Nigeria,” the UNWTO scribe said.
He also underscored the role of tourism as a driver of growth and opportunity for job creation.
According to him, there is a huge talent pool in the continent that is waiting to be tapped as well as a lot of opportunities and space for investments in the sector.
“I am, therefore, very happy that we want to use these three days in Nigeria to discuss and to entertain ourselves.
“We will discuss a lot of challenges that we have on the continent.
“Please, let us be active and let us participate in these important and historical days.”
The event, which was attended by participants from many of the 160-UNWTO member countries, featured discussions with the students on tourism and its importance to development.
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