No fewer than 200000 Chinese visited Nigeria in 2016, and that was the highest number of Chinese outbound visitors to Africa in 2016 .
This was stated in a report released on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the 59th Conference of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, Commission for Africa and High Level Meeting on Chinese Outbound Tourists to Africa.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, led the Nigerian delegation to the conference.
According to the report, Nigeria is ahead of other acclaimed tourist destinations like Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia and the Gambia.
There were 157 million Chinese outbound visitors globally in the year in review out of which 3.2 million came to Africa and $260 billion was spent on the whole.
Reacting to the report, the minister said that comparatively, it is an indication that the tourism sector is picking up in the country.
He said with the appropriate policies and legal framework the Nigerian government is putting in place, the country will maximise it to advantage.
Mohammed, however, noted that Africa and indeed Nigeria have a lot to do to develop and promote tourism sector to attract more tourists.
“Tourism contributes 10 per cent to global GDP but the African share of this is low.
“When you look at this statistics that of the 137 million Chinese outbound visitors globally, spending about 260 billion dollars only 3.2 billion dollars came to Africa and 200,000 to Nigeria, that is not good enough.
“Nigeria and Africa need to invest more in promoting tourism and there must be enough messages about the continent to attract tourists,” he said.
The minister said that one of the objectives of the conference was to promote Africa and see how the continent could benefit more from what China has to offer.
He added that the ongoing campaign for Africa to take up the leadership of UNWTO would be of huge advantage in improving the tourism sector in the continent.
The current UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Riffai, a Jordanian national, is due to stand down from the post at the end of 2017.
The African Union (AU) has reportedly endorsed Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi’s candidature for the post which is being keenly contested by members from other continents.
Another African, Alain St. Ange, a former Seychelles Minister of Tourism is also a candidate for the exalted office of the UNWTO Secretary General
Mr. Riffai, the outgoing UNWTO Secretary General, said the high-level meeting on Chinese outbound tourists to Africa aimed to exchange national experiences and tourism border development.
Mr. Riffai said the conference was organised to create synergy among African countries and promote Africa as a tourist destination.
He commended Mr. Mohammed for his passion for the industry and his initiative to bring Nigeria back to the UNWTO fold in 2016 after many years of non-participation in the activities of the global tourism body.
Mr. Riffai said the endorsement of Nigeria for the hosting of UNWTO Conference of Africa Tourism Ministers in 2018 is a catalyst for the realisation of the Federal Government agenda to bring tourism to the mainstream.
Why Nigerian visa Applicants Denied Chinese Entry
THE Chinese Consul General Liu Kan has advised Nigerian visa applicants to endeavour in efforts towards planning ahead of travel dates to avoid visa processing delays.
The consul general who spoke at the Chinese Consulate General in Lagos said that the Chinese government was committed to ensuring that Nigeria-China bi-national relations are cordial and that Nigerians who apply for various categories of Chinese Visas are permitted entry.
He said that the Consulate General in Lagos is responsible for issuing visas to about 20 states in Nigeria and would appreciate visa applicants to be truthful with the information in their visa application documentation.
Liu Kan Responding to the question on what the Consulate General’s Consular officials would want Nigerian visa applicants to do better or desist from to make their work a lot easier, the CG said, “With the development of the bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria, the people’s exchanges between both sides have become more and more frequent.
I suggest that the applicants who want to apply for Chinese visa pay attention to our website, learning relative policies, and prepare documents according to the requirements. He also said that as more and more Nigerian people want to travel to China, applicants should get prepared in advance, arranging schedule reasonably to avoid delay.
I also hope applicants can submit true and valid documents, which will make it easier for our work and is also good for their credit, he added.
Mr. Kan, who appeared satisfied with the display of oneness among Nigerians also applauded concerted efforts by both the Nigerian government and a good number of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria, especially in the area of youth empowerment.
He disclosed that China is ready to work with Nigeria to further enrich the China-Nigeria strategic partnership, consolidate the traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and strengthen support for each other.
Similarly, the CG declared that the development of the friendship and partnership between China and Nigeria, the cooperation in various fields, and the deepening relationships have in many progressive ways helped to promote both countries’ economies.
According to him, more and more Chinese enterprises and businessmen come to Nigeria, especially to Lagos, and many others are committedly investing in areas directly related to people’s livelihood such as water treatment, electricity generation, and communication, in addition to road and bridge building and so on.
Chinese companies in Nigeria have also provided plenty of job opportunities and skill trainings for local communities. As far as I am aware, Chinese businessmen get along better with their Nigerian counterparts.
They work more to complement each other than as competitors. And the Consulate General requires all Chinese citizens in our consular area to obey Nigeria laws and regulations and to respect local customs and religions.
Meanwhile, we hope Nigerian law-enforcement bodies including immigration department act in good faith and abide by their regulations”, Mr. Kan submitted.