Nigeria Tourism and Transportation Summit: An event of Death?
Dr. Walter Mzembi speaks out on COVID-19 and an African MICE event in Nigeria
Industry and Governments now more than before need disruptive thinking, counseling, and experience to glide through this crisis, said former Minister of Tourism for Zimbabwe Dr. Walter Mzembi from exile in South Africa.
If Nigeria has correct reporting there are only 2 cases of Coronavirus in the country.
Therefore it’s disturbing to see, that the organizer of The Tourism Transportation Summit ane Expo still have big plans and are attracting participants to their event at the International Conference Center in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.
The conference is planned for April 27 and 28 and details can be found on www.nttsummit.com/
City walks, Gala and a reward night with Hilton to become one of the winners are all planned. It can be reasonably expected the number of 2 COVID-19 in Nigeria will go up within 2 weeks after this conference, but the organizer wants the show to go on, despite the threat of COVID-19 everywhere in the world.
Dr. Mzembi explained: This is exactly what is spreading Coronavirus at this stage. So this Conference may be out of sync with the current global pandemic context.
Global connectivity hubs are a vector in themselves and the worst-hit areas/ countries today are either the world ‘ s biggest receipt or source markets for travel and tourism.
The solution is not in looking at these recurrent thematic issues on destination openness and connectivity but in a moratorium on travel and tourism; a temporary grounding of sorts.
So Travel and Tourism stakeholders should be thinking of mitigation measures to keep the industry afloat in some care and maintenance mode and allow this phase to pass as it shall surely will. Governments have milked Travel and Tourism for decades it’s time to look after this Industry and its intensive care needs .
The industry itself and by extension government research must start exploring in earnest virtual reality solutions for products like Conferencing and Exhibitions which are modus and tools of transactions. The traditional approach of gathering to transact has been disrupted before time and in kicks in technology. Remote jobs and taking unpaid leave will keep the industry afloat for a limited period but more sustainably fiscal intervention, tax cut back and incentives must be looked at immediately.
It is in this space an intergovernmental agency like UNWTO must be putting its thinking cap on and advising many clueless governments on how to incubate the sector for revival in due course.
Most leading global tourism and trade associations, as well as governments are urging organizers of events and meetings to cancel the event and not look at short term gain, which could become disastrous for Nigeria and through international delegates for much of Africa.
Reference on global travel safety consulting on safertourism.com