Nigeria’s tourism industry has lost 770,000 jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect across the country, the World Travel and Tourism Council said on Monday.
It announced this through the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, adding that the deadly virus had caused an industry loss of about $4.5tn globally.
Regional Director, WTC, Andrew Brown, stated this in a statement that was made available to Tourtelegraph by the NESG on the group’s recent forum that focused on the development of Nigeria’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
In his goodwill message, Brown said that before the outbreak of COVID-19, travel and tourism accounted for 330 million jobs worldwide, and that this number was projected to increase to 440 million by 2030.
“He, however, noted that about $4.5tn was lost by the tourism and hospitality sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and over 770,000 jobs were lost in the sector in Nigeria alone,” the statement read in part.
He urged industry players to adopt safe travel measures and design protocols to make travellers feel more secure when they travel.
Additionally, Brown pointed out that 54 per cent of all travel and tourism jobs are held by women, saying stakeholders should continue to encourage activities that foster a workplace where women thrive.
The NESG said the forum was held by its Tourism and Hospitality Industries Thematic group, with the theme, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Tourism and Hospitality sectors for Sustainable Growth and Profitability.”
In his address at the forum, Udeme Ufot, a board member of the NESG, said Nigeria was well positioned as a popular tourist destination all year round due to its domestic tourism sector, natural resources, and a variety of associated attractions.
The NESG, he said, was committed to implementing sectoral reforms to address some of the problems the Nigerian tourism and hospitality industry faces, including the lack of comprehensive databases of operators and clear, measurable sector value chains.
Ufot noted that it was important for stakeholders to acknowledge the critical role government should play to move the sector forward, while supporting the implementation of policies that would support the sector.