As the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja moves to harness its tourism potential, it yesterday convened what it called a stakeholders forum to generate ideas for its tourism master plan.
Welcoming guests to the occasion, Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide said globally, tourism is recognized as an engine of growth, capable of rejuvenating other sectors of the economy.
She adds, "the quest for real national economic transformation of the present administration has placed and leverage tourism as a good economic alternative to be developed and key into at all levels." She disclosed that the "trend of tourism development, marketing and promotion in the FCT is no doubt in its infancy without any articulate policy/plan for tourism development," and explained that the proposed development of a tourism master plan by the FCT administration is to serve as a blue print and road map for tourism development in the FCT.
Also speaking, Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism NIHOTOURS Munzali Dantata, said as consultant to the FCT ministry on the development of the master plan, NIHOTOURS conveyed the forum to provide a platform for wider consultation in the design of what he called a people oriented tourism policy. He however said that it was wrong for any one to think that the FCT cannot design its own master plan, adding that people with such notion may have been wrongly advised.
He also countered claims that Nigeria lacked the capacity to classify hotels, and informed that in the United States of America it was the transport association that handles hotel classification, the equivalent of Nigeria's Airport cab operators, while in Egypt, it is the association of hotel owners that is responsible for registering hotels.