NIGERIA’s Father of Tourism, Chief Mike Amachree, has called on the Federal Government to remove restrictions on travel and tourism both locally and internationally.
He said the current partial opening of domestic travel and continuous closure of the country’s international borders and airspace is having very negative impact on the nation’s travel and tourism industry, and by extension the country’s economy.
Amachree said the closure has also made it difficult for many employees in the tourism industry to feed and take care of their families.
His words: “Tourism is the uninterrupted movement of persons from one place to another for the purpose of business, leisure, health, religion and so on. It is a major economic activity.
“Last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), travel and tourism generated US$7.6 trillion. That is about 10.2 per cent of global GDP.
“Tourism boosts the revenue of the economy, creates thousands of jobs, develops the infrastructures of a country, and plants a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens. The number of jobs created by tourism in many different areas is significant.
“It is an industry and an important growth driver for any country, its economy and also for its social progress and monitoring. Tourism no doubt brings with it tremendous economic value. It touches and impacts several industries directly and many more indirectly through tourism spending.
“We know that the government is doing its best to manage the current situation, but as it is now, the restriction in travel is not doing much in the fight against hunger and COVID-19.”
The business mogul said rather than travel restrictions, the government should put greater efforts towards producing cure and vaccine to wipe out the Covid-19 pandemic.”