Zurab Pololikashuili, Secretary General, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), on Monday urged governments across the African continent to inculcate tourism in African schools’ curriculum.
Pololikashuili made the call at a three-day UNWTO Conference, when students from Pampers Academy were engaged in tourism discussions, held at the National Arts Theatre complex, Lagos.
The theme for the conference is: ”Linking Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries: Pathway to Recovery and Inclusive Development.
The secretary general said that to improve on the tourism industry across Africa, the needed education on tourism must be passed to the younger generation who remain the future of the industry.
”We are here to promote and support new projects, we look forward to better education for the youth through schools.
”We need to start with putting tourism in schools across Africa.
”We want you to be part of our future as children and you are the future of this country, we want to give you the possibility to grow, don’t be shy to grow any business in tourism.
”Digitalisation is a big part of tourism, we will continue to support start-ups and youths in Nigeria to grow,” he said.
Pololikashuilli noted that tourism was the fastest and best way to create new jobs while exploring the diverse tourism value chain.
He said the UNWTO had been committed to creating awareness on the need to explore tourism and creating education on tourism.
Earlier, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said the Federal Government would continue to create the needed infrastructure for tourism to thrive in Nigeria.
He noted that after the COVID-19 era, Nigeria became conscious of the huge revenue that could be generated in the industry.
He said according to the revenue statistics generated in 2021 after the COVID-19, it was discovered that sectors in the tourism industry generated huge revenue on a yearly basis.
He said music raked in N300 billion, Nollywood generated N170 billion while fashion raked in N2 trillion.
According to him, this is an eye opener for the federal government as more awareness on the potential of the tourism industry must be created for the younger generation to embrace.
He said there was need for the nation to have a film institute to further improve the creative industry.
”As government, we will continue to provide the needed education and infrastructures for the industry to thrive and as Nigerians, we all need to work in peace and unity.
”I am proud to say that Nigeria has attracted a lot of investments in the area of digitalisation, I encourage the youths not to bury their talents.
”Nigeria is an incubator for digital talents,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by tourism experts from within and outside the country. (NAN)