By Joshua Olomu
Sophia Khan, the institution’s national president, made the appeal Thursday during a courtesy visit by its members to the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariaam Katagum in Abuja .
She said the group was in the ministry to brief the minister on their visions and mandate and to look for possible areas of collaboration.
Khan explained that WIBAT Nigeria was designed to promote domestic tourism by developing, promoting and marketing tourism centers in Nigeria.
According to Khan, as Nigeria seeks economic diversification from oil, its tourism potential is a gold mine that can serve as a suitable alternative, if properly capped.
“There is no state in Nigeria that does not have a breathtaking tourist destination and tourism is the new oil.
“We therefore urge federal, state and local governments to view tourism as a serious business opportunity that can create jobs and boost GDP.
“At WIBAT Nigeria, we promote our culture, tourism and generate income across the entire value chain.
“As an organization, we encourage women to go into business, secure access to finance and enable them to create value in the tourism value chain.” she said.
Kkan said that cultural tourism, religious tourism and hospitality were among the promising potentials of the country’s tourism ecosystem.
In her remarks, the Minister of State commended the leaders of WIBAT Nigeria for their ingenuity and foresight in identifying the economic opportunities that abound in the tourism sub-sector.
She therefore urged the group to formally write to the ministry and identity areas for a possible collaboration.
“Tourism has an important role to play as the nation diversifies from oil and I still feel there is a huge void in the sector.
“As Nigeria joins the rest of the African countries to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)tourism is very important to Nigeria,” she said.
Katagum therefore urged WIBAT Nigeria delegates to seek collaborations with relevant sector organizations and stakeholders, including the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, among others. .
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