As the world celebrates Tourism Day, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on government at all levels to invest more in the sector in order to diversify the economy.
The National President of FTAN, Alhaji Rabo Saleh made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja.
He said there was need for governments to diversify the nation’s economy by stimulating the development of tourism clusters and tourists destinations across the country.
“Tourism development is a guaranteed way of creating employment in Nigeria, especially in tourist host communities in rural areas.
” Globally, the tourism industry is the highest employer of labour, both skilled and unskilled labour; the value chain of the tourism economy is robust and sustainable.
“Government should create tourism industry ease of doing business and to incentivise investments by Nigeria tourism operators.
“State Governments should give tourism business operators in their domain tax holidays, as well as the Federal Government should equally waive import duties for tourism operators,” Saleh said.
The FTAN president added that presently, 85 per cent of hotels and tourist resorts in Nigeria were owned by FTAN members, adding that they were being devilled with barrage of taxes and levies by Federal, States and Local Government officials.
According to him, FTAN members currently employed thousands of Nigerian workers in hotels, tourist resorts, travel agencies, transport sector, cultural centres, and many tourism related operations.
The FTAN president appealed to the government to encourage growth of tourism industry in Nigeria by reducing the plethora of taxes, levies and import duties imposed on already struggling tourism businesses and operators in Nigeria.
Saleh further explained that thriving domestic tourism sector in Nigeria could create thousands of job annually.
“The World Tourism Organisation which states that one out of 10 workers in the world are directly employed in the tourism industry.
“Most Nigeria’s tourist attractions are in the hinterlands, the industry if well supported by government policies can significantly alleviate poverty in the rural host communities,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that September 27 every year is recognized as the World Tourism Day by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and other national tourism orgnisations in the world.
reports that the theme of this year’s (2019) World Tourism Day is: ‘Tourism and Jobs, a better future for all’.
“Tourism role in job creation is often undervalued. This is despite the fact that tourism generates 10 per cent of the world jobs and is included in sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work”.( )
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Tukur Muntari.https://nnn.ng/world-tourism-day-ftan-urges-govt-to-invest-in-tourism-sector/