SON inaugurates committee on standard for tourism products
As Nigeria begins the search for the alternative sources of revenue to oil and gas, stakeholders in the tourism sector led by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have decided to use this opportunity to develop tourism as a means of growing the country’s economy.
Tourism has become a high-income earner for many nations of the world. In 2014 alone, international tourism receipts rose to US$ 1.5 trillion, according to a report published by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the organisation charged with the responsibility of promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Within that year, over 1.1 billion people travelled abroad.
But West Africa lags behind in the area of tourism sector according to the 2015 edition of the annual report on competitiveness in travel and tourism released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
This realization inspired the meeting of tourism experts called by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) during the week in Lagos.
At the meeting, the stakeholders inaugurated the National Mirror Committee (NMC) on Tourism and related activities whose mandate is to grow the sector through participation in regional and global standardization activities.
Speaking at the event, the acting Director-General of SON, Dr. Paul Angya represented by Mr. Abiola Komolafe, the Director Standards Directorate, said the NMC would create opportunity for tourism experts and practitioners to contribute to the elaboration of international standards “ with a view to ensuring that Nigerian peculiarities are taking into consideration in arriving at the final draft of the standards for tourism products and services.
The Director lamented the poor performance of Nigeria and other African countries in tourism sector. He said only Ghana and Senegal have passed the significant threshold of one million international tourists. “Nigeria, which had passed the threshold in 2008, has fallen below since 2011,” he said.