* Onung 

The President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung has stated that it is time to inaugurate the Presidential Council on Tourism to bring all stakeholders on one table.

Onung who stated this In his goodwill message at the ongoing Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, at the Balmoral Convention Centre in Lagos, thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating a separate Ministry of Tourism.

He commended Dr. Allen Onyema of Air Peace for his patriotism to Nigeria.

Onung said: “Today, I stand with great pride and a sense of optimism for the future as we gather here to discuss a topic of immense importance in the travel and tourism industry – “Unlocking Africa’s Economic Potential: Travel and Tourism as Catalyst for Intra-Africa Business, Investment, and Trade,”.

FTAN President expressed gratitude to all the guests, speakers and panellists, travel experts, and invited guests who have made it a point to be present at the event.

He maintained that: ” Your presence is a testament to your unwavering commitment and belief in the transformative power of the travel and tourism industry in Nigeria. Together, we can unlock the immense economic potential that resides within our beautiful country and continent”.

Onung stated that Africa with its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes, has long captivated the hearts of the world with diverse countries brimming with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, from the Pyramids in far Egypt to the beautiful beaches and coastlines in Lagos, from the colourful carnival in Calabar to the historical Durban in the Northern States of Nigeria.

NANTA President stated though Africa has it all, the stakeholders have only begun to scratch the surface of the true economic value that lies within its tourism sector.

According to him, ” travel and tourism offer a unique opportunity for intra-Africa business, investment, and trade. By promoting travel within the continent, we pave the way for deeper cultural exchanges, stronger business collaborations, and increased investment flows.

In this gathering, let us envision a future where Nigeria can work hand in hand with other countries to create a seamless and interconnected travel experience.

The potential benefits are immense. Increased tourism will not only lead to job creation and economic growth but will also foster a sense of unity and understanding among us as a nation. It is through travel and tourism that we can truly appreciate and celebrate our common heritage.

As we gather here today for the 48th Annual General Meeting, which at the end shall be producing the next leaders that will take NANTA to the next level, let us forge bonds that transcend boundaries and enhance our collective identity as travel agents.

He advised that: “We must seize this opportunity to harness the true potential of the travel and tourism sector. Collaboration and cooperation between us as travel agents and other sub sectors of the tourism industry is key. By promoting sustainable tourism practices, investing in skills, capacity building, and enhancing the quality of our services, we can position Nigeria as a leading travel destination in the world”.

FTAN President admonished the stakeholders to unite and support whosoever emerges as the next president and also to remind them that It is their commitment and dedication that will pave the way towards a prosperous NANTA .

Onung called for the AGM to serve as a factor of unification and springboard for meaningful collaborations and partnerships amongst the stakeholders and their businesses so that together, they can make a difference.

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