The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as historic the hosting of the first United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries at the National Theatre in Lagos.
The Minister made the remarks in Lagos on Monday at the opening of the Experts’ Workshops of the global conference.
“Today we are witnessing the making of history in two very important ways. First is the fact that this is the first time the UNWTO would be bringing stakeholders in tourism, culture and the creative industries together at a single forum to deliberate on issues of common interest. Secondly, this is the first event to be held since the completion of phase 1 of the 100-million-dollar renovation of the iconic National Theatre.
“It’s important to note that this is the first major renovation work on the National Theatre since it was built over 40 years ago. Many thanks to the Bankers’ Committee for this great job,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the global conference, which opened on Monday with two experts’ workshops on tourism and culture, as well as tourism and the creative industries, comes at a time that Nigeria and the world over are seeking for industries that can stimulate socio-economic recovery, alleviate poverty, mitigate the effects of climate change, accelerate job creation and inclusive development and foster international peace and cooperation.
“Within these premises, tourism, culture and the creative industries therefore present a huge potential to bridge this gap, especially at a time of great economic challenges the world over,” he said.
The highlight of the experts’ workshop was the discussion by the UNWTO Secretary General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed, with some primary school students on the importance of culture, tourism and the creative industries to national development.