The Nigerian Tourism sector contributed 34% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017 and about 20%of employment, the country’s Statistician General Dr Yemi Kale has said.
He revealed this on Day-2 of the 61 st United Nation World Tourism Organisation Regional Commission for Africa Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria with the theme “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development” Seminar
“Eventhough as you know not all of that 34%and 20%GDP and employment contribution will be related directly to Tourism activities. Nevertheless, this shows you the immense potential of Tourism activities in Nigeria, a $500 bn economy with about 70%of that household consumption expenditure.
With respect to the direct impact of Tourism on GDP, the economic activities that make up what we may call the tourism characteristics sectors including art, entertainment and recreation, trade, transport, accommodation and food services, administrative, support and other services.”
The Statistician General affirmed that Nigeria is an inspirational destination for visitors. International visitors come here to immerse themselves in our landscapes, indigenous culture and experiences and do business in what is unarguably Africa’s largest economy, market and population. This is Nigeria’s competitive advantage, he said.
He stated that as a country, Nigeria and at the National Bureau of Statistics, we also understand that the direct economic benefits of tourism which reflects the direct internal spending within the country from both residents and non-residents on tourism related activities, as well as its indirect and induced effects ranging from job creation, to increased revenue through taxes and foreign exchange, to improved local infrastructure, are far reaching.
Speaking at the press briefing to mark the end of the 2-day meeting, Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed said Nigeria will continue to focus on the areas of competitive advantage in tourism. He mentioned music, film, theatre and the creative industry in general as the focal point.
“ I am quite satisfied with the way the meeting has gone so far – the impressive attendance, the quality of contributions, the spectacular nature of the social events and, in particular, the passion and commitment of the Secretary-General, who has attended all the key events..
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.”
Meanwhile, UNWTO Secretary General Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili said Nigeria has successfully put tourism in the front burner and has told the world that tourism has arrived in Nigeria.
He pledged to continue to support Nigeria because the country is very strategic in the continent of Nigeria.
We have agreed on some concrete decisions to promote African tourism and tell the world that it is the best destination.
Revealing his earlier discussion with President Mohammadu Buhari after his visit to the state House on Tuesday, he said the Nigerian President encourage the organization to help Nigeria regain her rightful place in the world of tourism. He said Nigeria is investing massively in infrastructure in a bid to help boost tourism.
Tuesday Day 2 witnessed an interactive ministerial session which addressed relevance of tourism statistics. Also there were discussions on the need to build a sound system of tourism statistics and the engagement of national stakeholders and institutional partnership.
Other discussions were on how to measure tourism statistics in Africa and the implementation of such standards. Different case studies were presented for ideas sharing among others.
The Delegates will move to Lagos South West Nigeria on Wednesday to close the meeting with a tour of the Eko Atlantic city where modern engineering and technology is being deploy for tourism to witness the rise of Nigeria on the world stage.