UNWTO Harps on Digitalisation of Tourism Operations

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From: Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

In addressing current challenges and trends of the tourism industry, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is focusing on innovation, education, digital transformation and investments as strategies to apply in generating new business opportunities that will ensure global competitiveness, growth and sustainable development of the tourism sector.

This is in line with the vision and objectives of the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili as part of his new priorities to harness innovation and digital advances that will provide tourism with the opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management within a wider sustainable development agenda.

According to a Press release signed by Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, National President, ITPN which was made available to newsmen in Bauchi Wednesday, ” To achieve the set objectives, the UNWTO is proposing hosting of forums by sectoral stakeholders of the industry across the globe at local, national, regional and international levels to create synergy through collaborative actions between governments, academia, corporate organizations, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), investors, business support partners, etc.,

to provide understanding of current social trends and customer needs”.

“Back here in Nigeria, the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) is catching in on the digital transformation quest of the UNWTO to drive the nation’s tourism industry with a collaborative partnership with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and its agencies aimed at, not only to serve the digitalization needs of the tourism industry, but help achieve the goals of the Ministry in the promotion of digitalization in every sector of the Nigerian economy”.

The release also noted that as part of the Institute’s efforts to promote the use of digital technologies for the benefit of tourism operations in the country, it will focus part of its promotional activities more on ways and means of harnessing innovation and digital advances that will provide opportunities for inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management in the tourism industry of the country as envisaged by the UNWTO.

The ITPN boss noted that within the scope of the sustainable development agenda as the focal point of global attention in line with the UNWTO program, ITPN will explore all avenues to drive the Nigerian tourism digitalization process through creative innovation and entrepreneurship that will maximize the potentials of the sector in terms of economic growth, job creation and sectorial sustainable development.

“The Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria is the Nigerian premier national certification and professional membership body for hospitality, travel-tourism and allied occupations. It represents members working in the public, private and non-profit making organizations which ensures the highest standards of professional competence of practitioners in the Nigerian tourism industry”.

He said that “Driving the advances of digitalization of the Nigerian tourism industry the Institute further hopes to come up with a forum specifically dedicated to tourism tech adventures where key players and critical stakeholders in the industry are expected to brainstorm and key into such activities as investment fora, startups boot-camps, one-on-one networking between startups and investors, etc., all geared towards creating a digital operation climate for the Nigerian tourism industry”.