Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo
The tourism industry in Nigeria lost 770,000 jobs as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect across the country, the World Travel and Tourism Council said on Monday.
It disclosed this through the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, adding that about $4.5tn was lost by the industry globally due to the impact of the deadly virus.
Regional Director, WTC, Andrew Brown, stated this in a statement that was made available to our correspondent in Abuja by the NESG on the group’s recent forum that focused on the development of Nigeria’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
In his goodwill message at the forum, Brown stated that before the outbreak of COVID-19, travel and tourism accounted for 330 million jobs worldwide and that the figure was projected to grow to 440 million by 2030.
“He, however, noted that about $4.5tn was lost by the tourism and hospitality sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and over 770,000 jobs were lost in the sector in Nigeria alone,” the statement read in part.
He encouraged operators in the industry to adopt safe travel steps and implement protocols that would help travellers feel safe when they travel.
Furthermore, Brown revealed that women accounted for 54 per cent of all jobs in travel and tourism, adding that stakeholders should continue to encourage all activities that would foster an equitable environment that would allow women thrive in the workplace.
The NESG said the forum was held by its Tourism and Hospitality Industries Thematic group, with the theme, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Tourism and Hospitality sectors for Sustainable Growth and Profitability.”
In his address at the forum, a board member of the NESG, Udeme Ufot, said Nigeria was uniquely positioned as an all-year round tourism destination with a strong domestic tourism sector, rich natural resources and a variety of associated attractions.
He said the NESG was committed to sectoral reforms to fix some of the challenges bedeviling the Nigerian tourism and hospitality industry including the absence of comprehensive databases of operators, nor clear, identifiable sector value chains.
Ufot noted that it was important for stakeholders to acknowledge the critical role government should play to move the sector forward, while supporting the implementation of policies that would support the sector.