Delegates from more than 25 countries have been meeting in Lagos to draw up plans to develop African tourism as a major industry.
Delegates from more than 25 countries have been meeting in Lagos to draw up plans to develop African tourism as a major industry. The delegates, who form the African Travel Commission, began their three day conference on Thursday (August 12), when it was revealed that the African Development Bank had completed -- but not yet published -- a report on the existing and potential tourist attractions of Nigeria. It was also revealed that Nigeria had already established firm plans to develop tourism within its own country, and the Commission delegates were urged to co-operate in drawing up plans for a central tourism policy to cover all their countries.
SYNOPSIS: A three-day meeting of the African Tourist Commission, attended by delegates from 25 countries, began in Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday. The aim of the meeting was to co-ordinate national tourist policies into one overall plan to develop African tourism as a major industry.
The Secretary General for the African Tourist Association, and Chairman of the Conference, Mr Ignatius Atigbi, told the delegates that tourism was potentially a great source of income.
It was then revealed, by Nigerian Minister for Mines and Power Dr. R.A. Dikko, that Nigeria had already laid firm plans for developing its our tourist industry. The African Development Bank had complete a report on the existing and potential tourist attractions in Nigeria, he said, and the report would be published "in due course". Nigeria, he said, had realised the importance of tourism -- not only as a source of much-needed income, but also as a vital link in the promotion of international understanding throughout the world.
Mr Atigbi, the Conference Chairman, returned to the speaker's seat to continue his address. In his report he said that air transport would continue to play an important part in the development of international tourism, but that prohibitively high fares to African was a major setback to the trade. It was sad, he added, that while airlines were co-operating fully to promote the growth of tourist traffic in Europe and other continents, the situation in African was different. This was why, he said, African countries had to co-operate in developing tourism over the whole area -- as individuals they would not be able to achieve any profitable revenue. Airline representatives and a number of international bodies interested in tourism ware at the Conference as observers.