Umbrella body for travel and tourism practitioners in the country, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has formally approved eight National Working Councils to facilitate its tourism initiatives and development agendas across the six geo-political zones as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The councils were approved following the conclusion of the association’s bi-annual Council Meeting, where the new FTAN executive members presented a Working Plan for the years 2017 to 2019, an event which took place, Thursday, at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island Lagos.
Over the years, FTAN Council Meetings have been the decision-making event of the Federation.
The just-concluded Council Meeting provided the platform far-reaching decisions, and ended with a two-year rolling plan built around some newly created FTAN National Working Councils.
Newly-elected FTAN President, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, who chaired the Council Meeting – in his opening speech charged the Council Members to “join the New Order of friendship and camaraderie in FTAN that began since the election of the new FTAN Executive Members in June 2017,” further restating that: “I believe that FTAN Council meetings are moments ‘to put our heads together’, and our differences apart, to come up with action plans towards a robust and sustainable tourism economy in Nigeria.”
Rabo further called on FTAN members, and Nigeria tourism stakeholders, not to be lethargicand to ‘rise up to the needs of the moment, and give our best to both sanitize and grow the business environments of tourism in Nigeria.’
FTAN Council accepted the Working Plan for years 2017 to 2019 and, immediately also, setup eight National Working Councils, whose membership include Associations’ Presidents, Associations’ Secretaries and other capable members within the Associations.
This is the first time FTAN is activating the Federation’s constitutional provision to establish some National Working Councils, also known as ‘Working Committees’, to oversee the implementation of FTAN’s strategic decisions towards a sustainable tourism industry in Nigeria, and professionalism in hospitality enterprise management. More so, FTAN constitution stipulates the establishment of such standing national working councils to serve as operations, services and business agencies.
The new FTAN National Working Councils are: Hospitality, Resort and Leisure Services; Transportation, Tours and Travel Services; Tourism fairs, Marketing and Investment Services; Manpower Development, Legislation and Standards; Tourism Facilities, Support and Allied Services.
Others include: Intergovernmental Relations; Finance and Investment Services; and Public Communications.
The Council Meeting also approved, the short, medium and long term development plans as proposed by FTAN Executives, which includes among other things, securing technical supports and assistance from UNWTO to set up local structures for tourism and hospitality peer review, standardization of tourist services, enrichment of tourism assets, improve destinations services and provide value for tourists. This aims to increase the number of arrivals and increase the length of stay of inbound tourists.
There is also the target to liaise with Bank of Industry (BOI), and any newly created Development Bank, to source for Tourism Intervention Funds for FTAN members to secure and invest in tourism projects in Nigeria. As well as, to collaborate with Nigeria’s Economic Management Team to implement tourism policies as alternative for national poverty reduction in the rural areas and to jumpstart regional economic development.