Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, on Thursday said that tourism remained a critical contributor to Gross Product (GDP) of major economies.
Duke, who stated this when he hosted Mr Yahuma Obika, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Trimago to Nigeria, in Calabar said that Nigeria was an industry beneficiary.
He expressed the desire of his ministry to continue to collaborate with the Cross River Government to maximise the potentials of tourism to boost its economy.
The Minister also donated N20 million to the state government to sustain and move the Calabar Carnival 2012 forward while lauding the hosting of the various Carnivals across the country to boost Nigeria’s tourism potentials.
According to him, it will afford the different segments of the society including the youth and the women the opportunity to explore their creative abilities.
``We are almost like 37 countries all in one and, therefore, you cannot limit the expression of people’s creativity; in fact, we want to encourage as many more because it engages our youth. It takes them off the street, reduces restiveness and provides a platform where
political, traditional and religious leaders, the youth, women and children converge for a common goal,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Obika recalled the existing cultural ties between Nigeria and his country and sued for its sustenance for mutual benefits and described 2012 Calabar Carnival as unique and capable of turning around the economy of the state.