The Government of Nigeria is seeking collaboration among the ECOWAS member-states to develop the tourism potential of the subregion and place West Africa in prime position to compete with other regions.

The Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker, has, therefore, called for the streamlining of policies on tourism in countries in the subregion.

Coker spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the meeting of experts and stakeholders of the private tourism industry on the monitoring and evaluation mechanism of ECOTOUR 19-29 and the ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation regulator, Arise News reports.

“It’s the season to collaborate, not to compete. It’s in the spirit of collaboration that we will grow pan-African tourism,” Coker said.

“I want to encourage the localisation of policies,” he said, insisting that policies would only be successful when localised.

The DG called for streamlining of all the regulations in the region into one that will guide activities in the tourism sector across the 15 ECOWAS member-states, urging for the training of tourism operators in the region as well as the introduction of technology in tourism.

“We must embrace technology or it will leave us behind,” he said.

Related News

The Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission, Massandjé Toure-Liste, who was represented by the ECOWAS Commission’s Director of Private Sector, Dr Anthony Elumelu, said the meeting drew inspiration from the ECOTOUR 19-29 action plan adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government which was designed to serve as a roadmap for promoting responsible tourism.

“To this end, our technical meeting today centres around drafting the operational modalities for two critical tools: the ECOTOUR 19-29 monitoring and evaluation mechanism and the ETAR – ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation Regulator,” Toure-Liste said.

“The ECOTOUR 19-29 Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism will involve developing operational guidelines and appointing dedicated members or focal points to oversee its implementation.

“Simultaneously, for the ECOWAS Tourist Accommodation Regulator (ETAR) we will define the composition and operational modalities in alignment with Regulation C.REG.2/07/23.

“Our focus on Private Sector Collaboration includes; facilitating dialogue among representatives from the private tourism sector and encouraging strategic alignment and collaboration at the regional level.

“Additionally, we aim to support private sector players in finalising the process of creating a regional confederation,” she said.

The meeting is expected to end on Friday, 17th May 2024.