The Institute for Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ITPN) has urged government to boost support for the nation’s tourism sector in order to achieve overall development.
The institute also advised federal government to consider tourism as one of its look into areas for diversification, given the industry contributions to economies of the world.
President and Chairman of Governing Council of the institute, Abiodun Odusanwo stressed this while inducting new members into the institute, among which was newly – inducted ITPN Vice President for South- West, Ayodele Olumoko.
He described the sector as a multidisciplinary phenomenon that interfaces with many others like Transport and Health, and responsible for one-tenth of global employment and the second highest foreign exchange earner after oil and Gas.
On his part, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams who was a guest at the function expressed worries that resources were wasting away in the country, adding that government was yet to fully harness the potential of the rich industry.
He advised concerned authorities to extend resources to educational and agriculture tourism as well as strengthened investment in the already established cultural and entertainment tourism.
“It is high time government pulled resources together to awaken the sector as a lot of tourism destinations in the country are fading away because of neglect.
There are a lot of opportunities around sports and religion tourism, government should endeavour to make our youths see opportunities in these areas as a way out of unemployment. “
In his response, the newly-inducted Vice-President, Olumoko promised to explore opportunities and partnerships to break new ground in south- west and national tourism at large.
He said, “My sincere appreciation goes to everyone gathered her today to celebrate with me on this auspicious occasion. But beyond your presence here, I humbly crave your indulgence to ride with me on this journey so we can boast of achievements and impacts that will stand the test of time in Nigeria.’
He also expressed gratitude to guests and key players from all walks of life who graced the event among who were business magnate and Founder of Elizade University, Michael Ade Ojo and the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi amongst others.
Other inductees were: new Chairman of ITPN Lagos Chapter, Dr. Babatunde Olaide Moseraku, Technical Adviser of ITPN Southwest and Director of Travelogue Communications ltd, Mr. Charles Ukomadu, amongst others.