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School: Highland Park High SchoolCommittee: African UnionCountry: NigeriaTopic A: Expanding the Capacity for Sustainable TourismTopic Background Africa is characterized by rich history, unique culture, and wealth of natural resources, representing a unique opportunity for large amounts of tourism. The region has a burgeoning tourism industry, having averaged 2.3% rise in visitors per year since 2011. The current GDP generated by tourism on the continent is $40.1 billion, accounting for 2.7% of African GDP. Tourism remains a strong revenue source with potential for growth, with a projected increase of $66.9 billion by 2027. Africa is in desperate need of infrastructure and economic support, so any source of revenue must be given opportunity to flourish. However, increased tourism also means the potential for a myriad of issues. Concerns over terrorism and security are heightened with escalated international travel, suggesting the need for increased security measures. Additionally, the need for both environmental and cultural protections is incredibly important as tourism numbers rise, in order to preserve integrity of all African countries. The nation of Nigeria notes the urgency of this issue and recognizes the benefits of developing legislature to increase travel and tourism in Africa. She looks forward to designing a proactive and detailed resolution on the expanding the capacity for sustainable tourism. Nigeria has a deep and beneficial history with trade and tourism, which gives her a unique perspective on the topic. Nigeria offers a wide range of popular tourist attractions, including both metropolises and tribal regions. The capital of Lagos is a well attended travel destination, as it includes a popular nightlife, multiple beaches, and the traditional city atmosphere. In the rural areas of Nigeria, tribes, such as the Igbo, provide a cultural tourist option for those wishing to experience tribal rituals and traditions. Nigeria has a multitude of national parks, attracting many visitors wishing to see the indigenous and rare animals that the areas hold. The combination of disparate tourism options creates an enticing travel destination for tourists interested in Europe. This has lead to an increase in tourism in Nigeria of 17.3%, from 2014 to 2016. In comparison, Africa as a whole has lost 5.4% in visitors in the same time period. However, there remain a great many obstacles for Nigeria in her goal of encouraging further tourism. In the past, terrorism has been identified as a major diminisher of the tourism industry. The rise of Boko Haram and fear over terrorism plots has been found to contribute to Nigeria’s issues in expanding tourism. Nigeria’s environment and wildlife has suffered greatly as a result of the country’s expanding population and tourism, with concerns such as poaching and resource extraction threatening the stability of the fragile ecosystems. The security of Nigeria, both of her people and her environment, are incredibly important to consider when forming her policy decisions concerning the growth or travel and tourism in America. Country’s Policy In recent years, Nigeria has established herself as a leader in the African economy. Her vast natural resources and growing economic diversification have lead her to become the premier economy in Africa, with the largest GDP by far on the continent.  However, the Nigerian government has begun to recognize the potential for further economic growth through an increased tourism presence. In the year 2016, Nigeria generated $1.1 billion from the tourist industry.  In comparison, the average Sub Saharan African country produces $818 million in GDP from the travel sector. In fact, in nearly all essential economic indicators of travel and tourism, Nigeria is above the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. She remains dedicated to further improving the industry, as she is above the world average for investment within travel and tourism and one of the investment leaders in Africa. Instead of using national policy decisions to dictate the industry, she prefers to allow growth to happen through the natural market and individual businesses. She has worked to increase business participation in the travel industry, through encouraging compeition______. Additionally, Nigeria has conducted social campaigns in order to improve citizen engagement in the contention for international travelers. An aspect in which the Nigerian tourism industry could benefit from increasing the rate of foreign travel. In 2016, 97% of revenue generated by tourism was due to domestic travel. With a mere 3% generated from foreign travelers, Nigeria is committed to increasing this sector through effective policy decisions. The World Trade Organization has projected that tourist visitors to Africa will jump from today’s 50 million to 134 million by 2030. Tourism can be an engine for inclusive growth and sustainable economic development. Since the 1990s, tourism has increasingly contributed to Africa’s growth, employment and trade. With effective policy decisions that take into account the many intricacies of this issue, all of Africa can benefit from a joint African Union decision.Proposed SolutionAn essential focus of the Nigerian government is to promote her economy through diversification. She sees a potential comparative advantage within the hospitality and tourism industry, and intends to craft meticulous policy in order to grow the sector. It is essential that any legislature identify and support potential sources of toursi, including natural and cutlural opporutnities. Packaging these unique cultural resources in a responsible manner that will promote the country’s cultural resources in a responsible manner will promote the country’s cultural and natural heritage. Equip and maintain our existing museums, art galleries, cultural centers and exhibition halls, and make efforts to recover from abroad the country’s stolen works of art and crafts. This should be done if we must achieve the objective of protecting and promoting Nigeria’s cultural heritage as a resource for home grown socio-economic development. The private sector is basically the executor of programs. It encourages necessary super-structure and material technical basis such as good standard tourist’s accommodation, holiday resort, amusement parks, restaurant, and casinos. It is actively involved in tour operation, tour guiding, and provision of facilities for conferences such as public address system. The private sector encourages marketing of Nigeria as destination. However, private sector participation should be encouraged by government to further develop the industry because they have the money to invest by providing enabling environment for investment while partnering with local communities to assist in tourism development. According to the policy on security, Government would ensure stable policies and maintain friendly relationship with other African Countries. Refocusing on the National Security Agents to be tourism friendly (Tourism Policies) with a view to maximally assist and protect tourists as well as tourism sites. These policy need appraisal especially since the awakening of terrorist group (Boko Haram) in the Northeastern part of Nigeria, killing scores of people every day. Kidnapping in southeast and south of Nigeria coupled with the activities of the militants that have cripple our tourism Industry. No tourist wants to go to an insecure tourism destination, so there is need for proper security measures to be put in place not only to secure Nigeria and its residents but tourist alike. This is very necessary, as security has been identified as one of the major factor influencing tourist destination preference and intention to visit.By introducing sustainable practices into the tourism industry, the entire African continent could benefit economically. Tourism will continue to circulate money in local communities by employing local peoples and encouraging spending on locally produced goods. Tourism will continue to play a large role in the developing economy in Africa. Nigeria is extremely interested in partaking in the growth of this sector. The implementation of tactics previously used by other countries in the African region is incredibly important to further develop the tourist and travel industry of the region. This will also help in analyzing the positive and negative effects already enacted solutions have had on certain countries, the African Union could streamline the process of implementation. It is extremely essential that terrorist, environmental, and cultural concerns are assuaged before enforcing any legislation. By addressing each of the aforementioned aspects of this topic, the African Union can work to ensure sustainable growth and maintenance of tourism within the African continent.

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