The changing narrative of tourism in Enugu State was highlighted at the World Tourism Day, themed “Tourism and Green Investment” in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, when the State Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Dame Ugochi Madueke, urged people of the state, Nigerians in general and non-Nigerians alike, to visit the state and invest in its untapped tourism potentials presently being harnessed.
Madueke, who described Enugu as “the next Kigali” in her presentation said: “Our vision is to make Enugu a tourist destination. With waterfalls such as Ezimo, Awhum, Heneke, and the Nike Lake, we are ready to transform the state into a world standard tourism.”
She affirmed that the Enugu State Government has taken an unprecedented series of actions and measures to enhance the performance of the sector, in tandem with the emerging opportunities arising from the creation of a standalone Ministry of Tourism by President Bola Tinubu, which is the first time in the history of Nigeria, the implementation of the Establishment Acts for the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA) and the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John in her presentation which centered on developing tourism in Nigeria, emphasized community empowerment, collaboration and partnerships, sustainable tourism development, investment in renewal energy and digital transformation.
Other dignitaries at the event include UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, represented by Mr Folorunso Coker, Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA); Senator Elisha Abbo, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tourism; Ms Maria Higón, Deputy Ambassador of Spain; Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China; Mr Nkereuwem Onung, President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN); and Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator General, National Park Service, who was the occasion’s guest speaker.
The event also featured a presentation on tourism in the FCT as well as a cultural performance by the FCT cultural troupe.