The maiden edition of the National Transport Tourism Summit (NTTS) was held last month at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, capital city of Nigeria.
The well-attended event attracted participants from the maritime, land transport, aviation, and tourism industry. It also had participants from the academia world, federal ministries, parastatals, and the states.
The National Transport Tourism Summit, which started with a city walk on some designated streets of Abuja, ended with a sumptuous gala.
The aim of the summit, according to Abiodun Odusanwo, President, Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP), the body that conceptualized the event, was to focus on the relationship between tourism and transport with the view of focusing the papers and discussions on highlighting global perspectives and how Nigeria can queue into global practices.
Topics for the plenary sessions included: Tourism and transportation interdependencies for mutual growth and sustainable development, Marketing destination – what role for transport sector, Building capacity for global best practices in the tourism and transportation sectors, and Licensing regulations and oversight-meeting international standards for sustainable development of transportation and tourism.
“On the cross-sectorial participation, if you look into those that made presentations, we had many chief executives of parastatals,” said Odusanwo, who was also the chairman of the organizing committee, noting that, “this is one of those occasions where we have chief executives across sectors from mass transportation, aviation, tourism, and academia.
“For them to participate in this maiden edition, it means one, it shows the level of trust; two, it underscores the importance of having a transport and tourism summit. They have seen really that the connectivity that should have been in place.
“They have now realized that there is a need for it. That is one of the positive outcomes of the summit.
“We are glad that the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Transportation, Minister of State for Aviation, and chief executives of agencies that are decision-makers that were in attendance was a positive outcome for the summit.
“Also important is that this summit is as a result of a council decision in Sokoto in 2017.
“In the next one, they will report back on what transpired, and most of the people that would make these reports are here at the summit. It is at that next council meeting that the communique will also be mentioned as part of the papers.
“We are going to come out with recommendations. It is [those] recommendations that would lead to the subsequent positions that the ministries would take.”
Speaking on the summit, the President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Saleh Rabo, praised the organizers for the initiative and the huge success recorded.
He said: “It is a welcome development, because tourism as we know cannot thrive without transportation. We cannot get to a destination. Transportation could be air, road, rail, or sea.