The Federal Government has disclosed that the recovery of the travel sector in Nigerian and Africa as a whole will be majorly driven by domestic tourism.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this at the 63rd Meeting of the World Tourism Organisation-Commission for Africa on Monday.

At the virtual meeting, the Minister revealed that the travel and tourism sector is the most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic while urging African nations to develop and implement country-specific plans to lessen the effect of the global health emergency.

He said countries must take into account lessons learned from previous health emergencies like Ebola, among others while developing the plans.

Mohammed said, “As stifling as the effects of the pandemic may be, as soon as the restrictions are lifted and it is considered safe to travel, the Travel and Tourism Sector; considering its resilience will – hopefully – be in the forefront of global recovery.

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“For us in Africa, after the pandemic, focusing on rural tourism will help speed up the recovery process in the Travel and Tourism Sector. This is because rural tourism employs more people in Africa, and here I am talking about arts, crafts, culture, and heritage.

“As Nigeria gradually opens up, just like the rest of the world, with domestic flights due to begin around the end of June and hotels and restaurants coming back to business, new protocols are being put in place for the safety and security of all.

“They include training of personnel on security and safety measures, infection control, adherence to government protocols, enhanced hygiene measures, use of personal protective equipment, and facility sanitation.”