FOLLOWING the rise in the exchange rates, Nigeria will be absent at this year’s World Travel Market, which starts on Monday, November 7, in London.
It would be recalled that Nigeria did not attend the 2015 WTM, due to lack of money.
WTM, London is the leading global event for the travel industry to meet industry professionals and conduct business deals. As a result of its industry networks, unrivalled global reach, the event creates personal and business opportunities, providing customers with quality contacts, content and communities.
The reason for the absence of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in the global tourism market this time was the rise in currency and increase in all costs.
According to a source in the Ministry of Information, Culture and National Orientation, who pleaded anonymity, NTDC Director-General, Mrs Sally Mbanefo, had sought the approval of the Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to cancel NTDC’s participation in the event.
“The DG pleaded with the Minister to cancel NTDC’S participation in this year’s edition of World Travel Market (WTM), in London due to the rise in currency rates, increase in all costs.
“Mrs Mbanefo said the corporation was unable to fully accommodate payment for space, stand construction, tickets and estacode within the approved sum of Thirty Million Naira only, (N30,000,000.00),” the source said.
Mbanefo, according to our source, also said the readiness of the event is low, hence the need to cancel Nigeria’s participation at the event.
The source also disclosed that Nigeria would attend the 2017 ITB Berlin, the largest tourism fair, which holds between 14 and 16 February, 2017, as Mrs Mbanefo has already started discussing the modalities for a successful participation at the event.
“Mbanefo plans to explore the 2017 ITB Berlin to achieve the change mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration, thereby using the event to launder the positive image of our dear country while attracting investment into our dynamic tourism sector.
“So she is already working on an approval from the minister for the funds to be used to secure early registration and space that will ensure enough time for us prepare for a befitting outing for Nigeria in Berlin 2017.
“But the fact remains that both the NTDC DG and the Minister mean well for the development and promotion of the Nigerian tourism industry, hence they are busy taking practical steps at making Nigeria and Nigerians benefit from the immense benefits tourism has to offer,” the source said.