By VICTOR NZE
For the second time this year, Ministers of Culture and Tourism from around the world, including Nigeria’s Alhaji Lai Mohammed, will converge on the city of Muscat, in Oman from December 11 to 12 for another edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Conference on Tourism and Culture.
Mohammed is the Vice President (Africa) of the UNWTO.
This second edition of the conference is also expected to bring together private sector stakeholders and experts with the objective of building and strengthening partnerships between the Tourism and Culture sectors and enhance their role in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conference is a sequel to the First UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia in February 2015 and will provide the platform to reflect upon the Siem Reap Declaration that pledged to explore the synergies of the tourism and culture sectors to work in harmony for sustainable development.
The United Nations has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, thereby offering a unique opportunity to explore and highlight tourism’s potential to help transform the world into a place of prosperity and wellbeing for all.
In this context, the second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture features prominently as one of the official events on the calendar of activities of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Gathering tourism and culture stakeholders from all world regions in Muscat, Oman, the Conference will address a wide range of topics, including governance models, tourism development and protection of cultural heritage, culture and tourism in urban development and creativity, and explore the nature/culture interface in tourism as a vehicle for sustainable development in destinations worldwide.