By Rotimi Ijikanmi, Abuja.
The Federal Government says the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has started the process of establishing its Tourism Academy in Nigeria before the end of May.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister spoke on the outcome of his recent visit to UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
Mohammed said that the global tourism organisation had started working with the private sector to ensure that the tourism academy come on board before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on May 29.
Recall that UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, announced in November 2022 in Lagos that the organisation would be establishing three tourism academies in Africa.
Pololikashvili who spoke at the maiden UNWTO Global Conference on Tourism and Creative Industry, then assured that one of the three institutions would be located in Nigeria.
The minister said that during his visit to Madrid, which was to review the outcomes of the tourism conference, the UNWTO asked Nigeria to lead the process of a Single African Air Transport Market.
According to him, the Single African Air Transport Market is to ensure air connectivity among African countries, in order to reduce the number of hours it takes to travel within the continent.
He cited an instance where an air trip from Nigeria to Tanzania currently took about 24 hours because of connecting flights, whereas it ought to have taken just five hours with a direct flight.
Mohammed said that Single African Air Transport Market would allow more African countries to be connected and would boost tourism within the continent.
Besides, the minister said that Nigeria had been given the right by UNWTO to host gastronomy festival
He said that gastronomy festival, which was mainly to promote indigenous foods, was an important aspect of destination tourism.
Mohammed said the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation would champion the hosting of the event, meant to promote the nation’s gastronomy globally.
He also assured that the event would hold before May 29 when the Buhari- administration would wind up.