Nigeria seeks ‘Tourism Marshall Plan’ to aid post-pandemic recovery

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MINISTER of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has called for a ‘Marshall Plan’ to aid the recovery of the travel and tourism sector in Africa.

The sector is said to be the most hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister stated this on Monday during the 63rd Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa (CAF), hosted virtually by Seychelles.

He said: “It is imperative for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to support Africa with a ‘Marshall Plan’ of sorts, in terms of technical assistance, capacity-building and grants.”

He said the fastest way for the travel and tourism sector in Africa to recover from the effects of the pandemic is to focus on domestic and intra-Africa tourism.

Mohammed said following the outbreak of the pandemic, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture had to act quickly, because the impact of the pandemic has been particularly devastating due to its importance and relevance to the national economy.

”The Travel and Tourism Sector and indeed the entire Nigeria creative industry is large, diverse, dynamic and critical for economic growth, development and diversification. It is the biggest creator of jobs after agriculture. Also, the industry contributes between 2.5 and 3% to the nation’s GDP,” he said.

The minister told the meeting that a 22-member stakeholders committee has been established and tasked with working out the immediate, short and long term economic stimulus and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic.

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