Mr Steve Ayorinde, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, has described tourism sector as the next big revenue-generating sector in Nigeria.
Ayorinde made the assertion at the Jumia Travel Awards in Lagos with the theme: Lagos as a Model of Tourism in Nigeria.
The commissioner said: “Business volume in the larger tourism and cultural arts sector arguably, equals and was threatening to surpass that of oil exports, agriculture or automobiles.
“Currently, one out of every 10 jobs being created is now tourism-related.
“Tourism has become one of the major players in the international commerce and represents one of the main sources of income for many developing countries.
“According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, over the decades, tourism worldwide has experienced continuous growth and deepened diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.
“Also, because of the potential the sector holds, the Lagos State Government under Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode has accorded the sector huge attention and committed huge resources into developing it.”
Tourism has rebranded Lagos to a safe, welcoming destination- Commissioner
He also said that committing huge resources to the sector would create opportunities for different levels of stakeholders to further develop it as a thriving and profitable venture.
Ayorinde said that the ministry was also committed to the growth agenda of the sector through its project: T.H.E.S.E which stands for “Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports for Excellence.”
Also, Ms. Omolara Adagunodo, Managing Director, Jumia Travel, said the country’s hospitality sector has the potential of being the mainstay of the country’s economy and contributed a higher percentage to the Gross Domestic Product.
“Travel and Tourism was directly responsible for 1.9 per cent (N23 billion in actual numbers) of the country’s total GDP,” Adagunodo said.
On travel awards, she said that the idea was conceived to promote Nigeria’s tourism sector and encourage hoteliers/airlines to improve the quality of their services for further advancement of their respective destinations.