The Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, has described the just concluded 61st Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) in Abuja as one of the most successful events of the global body.
The Secretary-General made the remarks in Abuja on Tuesday at a joint press conference with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
He said the organisation will leverage the success of the meeting to promote Nigeria to become a top tourist destination in the world, and commended the Minister for putting Nigeria on the global tourism map.
“Thanks to the Minister that is pushing Nigeria as a new tourist destination. We are here to support Nigeria to be the most important and most attractive place to come to visit to enjoy the culture,” Mr Pololikashvili said. The Secretary-General, who was received by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the day, said the commitment shown by the President to tourism development has motivated the UNWTO to renew its interest in Nigeria.
He particularly commended the Administration’s Visa On Arrival policy which, he said, has made Nigeria one of the most accessible countries and urged other countries to emulate the policy.
Mr Pololikashvili said the ongoing meeting in Nigeria has provided a veritable platform to discuss and articulate concrete steps towards the development of tourism on the continent.
“Without being immodest, let me say that we are very proud of the hosting of the 61st Meeting of the UNWTO CAF. We are very proud of the role played by the UNWTO and CAF. We are happy with the attendance of delegates and we are happy with the events overall,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed thanked the UNWTO Secretary-General and his entire team for their support and guidance during the three-day event, which is due to end on Wednesday.
Over 500 delegates, including 26 Ministers and 166 foreign delegates from 34 countries, are attending the meeting.