Nigeria is to participate at the first World Investment Conference on Tourism Development which will hold in China on May 2016.
This was announced in Abuja on Tuesday, by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during the reception of the Chinese Ambassador, Gu Xiaojie, who paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Abuja.
The Minister stated that the essence of the trip is to give Nigeria the opportunity to exchange views with China’s tourism authorities on how best to help boost tourism in Nigeria.
Mohammed described China as one of the most important partners in Nigeria’s quest to develop its infrastructure and that Nigeria would be deeply committed in strengthening the existing bilateral tie between the two countries.
”China is a veritable development partner with Nigeria. The relationship between the two countries started at the level of cultural collaboration but has now gone beyond that to the developmental level,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed cited the partnership between the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Star Times of China; the funds being provided by China for Nigeria’s rail project and the involvement of a Chinese firm in the Lagos State Government railway project as instances of the strategic relationship between the two countries. Hence, he called for more partnership between the two in the area of tourism, saying that China has done well in domestic tourism.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador, Gu underscored the importance of Nigeria to China as an economic partner. He described the relationship between his country and China, which dates back 45 years, as ”excellent and strategic”.
According to the Minister, Nigeria and China attach great importance to the relationship and would work harder to strengthen it, especially in the areas of information, tourism and culture.
Recall: Tourism as a sector represents one out of every 11 jobs worldwide with a nine per cent contribution to global GDP and it is estimated that Nigerian tourism contribution is valued at approximately 1.3 trillion with a 2.6 per cent contribution to employment (1,636,500 jobs).