/ Funmilola Gboteku
Zurab Pololikashuili, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), on Monday urged governments across the African continent to instill tourism in the curriculum of African schools.
Pololikashuili made the call at a three-day UNWTO Conference, when Pampers Academy students participated in discussions on tourism, held at the National Arts Theater complex, Lagos.
The theme of the conference is: ”Linking tourism, culture and creative industries: path to recovery and inclusive development.
The Secretary General said that in order to improve the tourism industry in Africa, the necessary tourism education must be passed on to the younger generations, who remain the future of the industry.
”We are here to promote and support new projects, we hope for a better education for young people through schools.
”We have to start by bringing tourism to schools across Africa.
”We want you to be part of our future as children and you are the future of this country, we want to give you the chance to grow, do not hesitate to make any tourism business grow.
“Digitalization is a big part of tourism, we will continue to support start-ups and young people in Nigeria to grow,” he said.
Pololikashuilli noted that tourism was the fastest and best way to create new jobs while exploring the diverse tourism value chain.
He said that UNWTO was committed to raising awareness of the need to explore tourism and creating tourism education.
He noted that after the era of COVID-19, Nigeria realized the huge revenue the industry could generate.
He said that according to the revenue statistics generated in 2021 post-COVID-19, it was found that the tourism industry sectors were generating huge revenue annually.
He said music brought in N300 billion, Nollywood brought in N170 billion while fashion brought in N2 trillion.
According to him, this is an eye opener for the federal government, as greater awareness of the potential of the tourism industry needs to be created for the younger generation to embrace it.
He said it was necessary for the nation to have a film institute to further enhance the creative industry.
”As a government we will continue to provide the education and infrastructure necessary for the industry to thrive and as Nigerians we must all work in peace and unity.
“I am proud to say that Nigeria has attracted a lot of investment in the area of digitization, I encourage young people not to bury their talents.
“Nigeria is an incubator for digital talent,” he said.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the event was attended from within and outside the country.
Source Credit: NAN
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