President Muhammadu Buhari paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain.
His visit was part of the activities marking an official state visit to the Kingdom of Spain.
At a reception held in his honor at the headquarters of the United Nations Tourism Agency, Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said it was a great honor to receive the Head of State of the most great country in Africa.
Addressing the gathering, Pololikashvili said, “Nigeria is a key Member State of UNWTO and a founding member of the organization since 1975. And I would like to commend you, Mr. President, for your outstanding support as the first Member State to sign the instrument of ratification of the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics 2020”.
Nigeria is also an economic giant and has been at the forefront of innovation, technology and development in Africa.
The UN Tourism scribe believes that Nigeria can realize its unique potential to be more competitive and a key destination in Africa and can reap the full benefits of the tourism sector.
He added that Nigeria’s commitment to the work and program of UNWTO is highly appreciated and that the first global event to link tourism, culture and creative arts to be held in Lagos in November is a testament to the support that the West African nation has demonstrated towards the development of tourism in Africa.
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Addressing the august gathering at UNWTO Headquarters, President Muhammed Buhari said, “The right to host which was recently granted to Nigeria for the first ever World Conference on Tourism, Culture and creative industry is another affirmation of the great trust placed in our country by your organization.The event provides a new opportunity for Nigeria to market its tourism and creative assets to the international community.
The Nigerian President assured the UNWTO leadership that “Nigeria is ready to host a world-class conference in November, and we assure all participants from inside and outside the country of a safe and secure and adequate facilities”. We look forward to welcoming all participants to Nigeria.”
“President Buhari further disclosed that the global conference will also serve as a vehicle to showcase Nigeria’s famous hospitality and warmth, to highlight the country’s profile as a leisure and business destination and to ‘identify investment opportunities, particularly in the sector’. The event will also strengthen the already cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and UNWTO.
The Nigerian President took the opportunity to thank the organization for awarding Nigeria 100 UNWTO Tourism Online Academy Scholarships for awarding the Certificate on “Introduction to Tourism”. tourism industry management.
”I am reliably informed that the scholarship was awarded in recognition of Nigeria’s efforts to empower young people and stimulate quality education in tourism. There is no doubt that this award will help fill the labor gap in our tourism sector. I look forward to a stronger and more mutually rewarding relationship between Nigeria and UNWTO in the years to come,” President Buhari said.
One of the highlights of the courtesy visit was the unveiling of a plaque by the visiting Head of State at the headquarters.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Culture and Information, who accompanied the President to Madrid, said Nigeria plans to leverage the global conference to showcase the best of Nigeria.
“We plan to leverage the conference to showcase what makes Nigeria tick in the areas of culture, tourism, music, film, food, fashion, photography, etc., and why Nigeria has become a world leader in music and film, in particular.
“The President’s visit to UNWTO Headquarters today has greatly boosted our efforts to organize a successful conference in November, and we thank the President for taking the time to visit us” , he concluded.