Kano — Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Senator Jibrin Bello Gada, has said the country’s increasingly appreciating tourism forecast showed that annual tourists arrivals will reach over one billion by the 2010, which will eventually put earnings in that sector to $150bn.
The minister, who was speaking during the 30th celebrations of the World Tourism Day in Kano, weekend, hinted that despite the growing disasters that have greeted the world, tourism has been put as the fastest growing industry with many countries presently turning to the sector away from oil as their main source of revenue.
“Travel and tourism is considered as one of the world largest growing industry and despite the incidences of terrorism, air mishaps, tsunamis and other natural disasters and even the present global economic meltdown, it has remained resilient as there is no sign of slowing down in growth trend sin this 21st century,” said Gada.
He pointed out that this and many other reasons has now made countries to place greater emphasison their tourism sector which has in turn made it to become their main source of incomes. The Federal government, he said, has realized that tourism is a potent alternative to crude oil as a revenue earner in view of declining prices of oil in the international markets, while on the same basis President Yar’adua has made the sector one of his veritable instrument for the achievement of his administration’s 7-point agenda and vision 20-2020.
The minister further explained that, today federal government has selected tourism as one of the six priority sectors for launching the revival of the economy in the country, just as, according to him, President Umar Musa Yar’adua has assured that he is determined to spent any amount in making tourism very relevant and reliable source of the nation for revenue.
Similarly, Gada, noted that government were implementing the recommendations of the Nigeria Tourism Development Master plan with focus on the product development, strengthening of the tourism related parastatals, public private partnerships and conference tourism, all these he noted that are aimed at the improving the nation incomes.
Speaking earlier, the Kano state governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, hinted that they have so far spent well over N500 million on the physical development of the sector in the ancient city, in the provision of tourism sectors, like visitors pavilions at the Kano Emirate Council, upgrading of the 300 internet cafes and development of the famous Gidan Dan Hausa facilities.
Shekarau, added that the state has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with some foreign partners for the creation of a befitting ultra-modern centers across the 44 local government areas of the state.