Sustainable transport is fundamental to progress in realizing the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and help accelerate the growth of tourism in any country. Yet despite this critical role, sustainable transport has not been given adequate recognition, hampering the growth of tourism and other sectors. It is in this context that the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), plans to host the 3rd Annual National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo 2020 in April, reports Omolola Itayemi
Transport is not an end to a means in itself but rather a means allowing people to access what they need: jobs, markets and goods, social intervention, education and a full range of other services contributing to healthy and fulfilled lives.
Little wonder, the Tourism Transport Summit is created to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the national economy. The Summit offers a unique opportunity to meet with regulators, decision-makers, influencers, technocrats, specifiers, investors and highly engaged delegates from tourism, aviation, maritime, railways, airport operations, road transportation, national and international travel, and transportation organizations, including operators in the tourism and hospitality value chain.
As arranged this year, the Presidency will be leading on the policy direction of the federal government, while the mass transportation will be led by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, with the support of the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, will be the chief tourism host leading the tourism and cultural sector while the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, is expected to lead the aviation sector.
The theme of the 2020 edition is ‘Tourism and Transportation Connectivity and Mobility for Sustainable Growth and Development’ is scheduled to hold from 27 to 28 April 2020 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
It will be recalled that ministries and agencies of both sectors in the country have successfully hosted two editions of the summit in 2018 and 2019 based on the premise that Tourism and Transportation Connectivity are critical issues relating to bridging the policies of both sectors while reaffirming the need for developing programmes of inter-ministerial cooperation between bodies responsible for tourism and transport so as to improve and strengthen the basic conditions for the sustainable development of both industries.
Other sessions of the summit will include keynote presentations from captains of industries, international organizations and agencies under the ministries of Transportation, Information and Culture.
The Exhibition, B2B and G2B sessions will expose attendees to a plethora of public-private partnership investment opportunities in the transportation and tourism public sectors and an opportunity for companies to showcase their products and services.
It will also provide a rare opportunity for high-level government officials to discuss and get insight from both domestic and international investors fostering joint ventures, domestic and foreign direct investments.
Participants at the two-day events will be drawn from major key players and stakeholders in the transportation and tourism sectors from the international community in critical areas.
Experts and professionals are drawn from the academia as well as key players and stakeholders in the industries will deliver healthy thought-provoking papers on carefully selected sub-themes of the Summit which includes: Tourism in a Hyper Connection World: Making Technology Work for the Tourism and Transportations. Others are operators of the tourism and hospitality industry.
The expo programme will begin with the Mr. and Miss Tourism Transportation Pageant on March 28, 2020. The Host City Walk comes up on April 25, 2020, the starting point from the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Garki Area 1, Abuja. The summit and expo proper begins on 27 to 28 April 2020 at the Abuja International Conference Centre (AICC). This will be followed with the Awards and Dinner/Gala Night in the evening of the Summit and Expo; 28 April 2020 at the Abuja International Conference Centre (AICC). The program will be rounded up with a Host City Tour on Wednesday, 29 April 2020.
Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, national president of ITPN and Lead Organizer of the summit reiterated that the Summit and Expo has since its inception brought about an added value to the synergy and connectivity that existed between tourism and transportation and how both can collectively contribute to the growth and development of the national economy, adding that ITPN has membership across the country and has partnered with government particularly the N-Power skill acquisition exercise in imparting skills and job creation in the country.
Odusanwo further spoke on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and transportation and the dubious and false misrepresentations in the media for cancellation of the summit.
“The call for the cancellation or postponement would be made when the time comes; should there be a need to do so and only on the directive of the Federal government of Nigeria, and credible national/international organizations. I am deeply saddened about this development as I hold dual citizenship of being an African and European; coupled with the fact that, as an internationally travelled technocrat with families in Europe and the United States, the current Coronavirus pandemic is an unpleasant situation with global ramifications and implications that calls for the collective resolve of all,” Odusanwo said.
He lauded the Nigerian government’s response, proactiveness, preparedness and the manner in which the cases identified which he said has earned the country plaudits.