Nigeria Signs Hosting Agreement For Global Tourism Conference,Promises Trailblazing Event



The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
assured that the 1st Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and
Creative Industry, to be held in Lagos 14-17 November 2022, will be a
trailblazing event.

The Minister gave the assurance in Madrid on Tuesday when he signed
the hosting agreement for the event with the Secretary-General of the
UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, in
the Spanish capital.

He said the signing of the agreement is the clearest indication yet of
Nigeria’s commitment to hosting a successful conference, officially
entitled ‘1st UNWTO Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture and
Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development’.

Alhaji Mohammed said the conference will be held at the National
Theatre, which is currently being renovated at a cost of $100 million,
under a partnership between the Federal Government and the Bankers’
Committee/Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said the conference will form a part of the events to formally
declare open the National Theatre, the iconic edifice which is
undergoing its first renovation in over four decades, in addition to
witnessing the construction of new hubs for fashion, information
technology, film and music.

”In an effort to ensure that the National Theatre complex is ready
for the hosting in November, I recently undertook an inspection tour
of ongoing work there with stakeholders, including the Governor of
Lagos State, the Governor of CBN and the Minister of Sports and Youth
Development. Every indication is that the venue will be ready early
enough to host the global conference,” the Minister assured.

He said the global conference will affirm Nigeria’s status as the hub
of the Creative Industry in Africa, and help reposition the Cultural
Tourism and Creative Industry as the engine of growth not just for
Nigeria or Africa but indeed all countries of the world.

”The creative economy contributes a significant 3% to the global
gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national
GDPs around the world. And, according to UN estimates, the creative
economy industries generate annual revenues of $2.25 trillion and
account for 30 million jobs worldwide. The essence of this conference,
therefore, is to help improve on those figures and create more jobs

”This inaugural conference couldn’t have been conceived at a better
time. The Creative industry was badly hit by Covid-19 pandemic, and it
is just beginning a slow and long recovery process. For example, it is
estimated that In 2020, the cancellation of public performances alone
cost the organizers roughly 30% of global royalties, while the global
film industry lost $7 billion in revenues. The stark reality is that
millions of jobs were also lost during the shutdown period. That’s why
the conference is not only expedient but timely,” Alhaji Mohammed
said.

He commended the UNWTO for coming up with the conference and also for
giving Nigeria the hosting rights.

For his part, the UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Pololikashvili, assured
that the UN agency will immediately kickstart a global publicity
campaign for the event as part of efforts to ensure its success.

The signing was witnessed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mr.
Demola Seriki, and the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism
Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, among others.