By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
The minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that tourism has become an integral part and a major boost to national and global economy.
Lai Mohammed stated this at the 2019 World Tourism Day Celebration hosted by the Delta State Government in Asaba.
The minister who was represented by the director, Tourism Development Board, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, said, “The World Tourism Day is commemorated on October 27 of every year to foster awareness among the global communities on the social, cultural, political and economic value of tourism and a condition in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the minister, “The importance of tourism has been recognized in both developed and the developing countries and it can be seen in the establishment of government departments, policies and encouragement of tourism development.
He said, “Tourism is a powerful and beneficial agent of both economic and social change. It has a significant contribution to the balance of payment in many countries throughout the world…tourism is a big global business, considering the number of people involved either as providers of the product or services required.”
On his part, the governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said tourism is recognized as a major provider of jobs for the teaming youths and a source of revenue for states.
The governor who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, said, “Tourism, if well managed, is a significant source of employment, requiring varying degrees of skilled and unskilled labour which facilitate easy and quick entry into the labour force for youths.”
Earlier, the commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Sir Lawrence Ejiofor had said tourism in other parts of the world has been a catalyst for economic growth and poverty alleviation among the marginalized segment of societies.
Sir Ejiofor who said the theme for 2019 World Tourism Day Celebration, “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All” has been a major source of employment for many global economics.
“It therefore believed that developing tourism is directly linked to community development. We should consciously focus our attention on developing soft skills among local populace for them to benefit from this all important phenomenon in our communities,” the commissioner said.
Present at the event were the commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, the commissioner for Science and Tech, Mr Matthew Itsekiri, the secretary-general, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the permanent secretary, ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism among others.