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Tour operators want FG to create tourism ministry

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The National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) have called on the Federal Government to create a separate Ministry of Tourism to enhance its activities within the hospitality value chain.
The association’s president, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, made the call on Tuesday at an event marking this year’s World Tourism Day in Ikeja, Lagos.
The theme of the event was tagged “Tourism for all, focus on accessibility for people’’.
Onung said the country deserved to have a Ministry of Tourism in view of the sector’s potential contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“This year’s event is celebrated with mixed feelings.
“With joy on one hand for the resilience of Nigerians and stakeholders who have had to forge ahead in spite of a very difficult operating terrain,” said the NATOP president.
He said that successive governments had continued to trivialise the sector that was capable of contributing immensely to the nation’s GDP.
“We need attend trade expos regularly to market Nigeria tourism.
“We had our problems but there is room for improvement,“ he said.
Onung commended NATOP’s tour and marketing partnership with 2016 Calabar Carnival scheduled to hold in December.
President Muhammadu Buhari pruned down the number of ministries in line with the recommendations the Steve Oronsaye panel.