Catalizing more effective models of collaboration to leverage North-South, and South-South initiatives for sustainable tourism development, poverty reduction, and societal betterment

Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Honourable Commissioner for Tourism & IGR, Lagos

Born 45 years ago in Lagos, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi made a foray into politics as an Assistant Youth Officer for the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) for the Lagos Mainland in the Second Republic. A Sociology graduate of the University of Lagos, Senator Afikuyomi was elected member of the Nigerian legislature, the House of Representatives (1992), member Nigerian Senate for the Lagos Central Constituency (1999) and re-elected member Nigerian Senate for Lagos West (perhaps the largest Senatorial District in sub-Saharan Africa) since 2003 to 2007. He is the first legislator in Nigeria’s modern political history to have switched constituency and yet won convincingly in a keenly contested election.

In 1995, Senator Afikuyomi became Winner of Time Magazine’s Global 100 Award. This was an International recognition for the best and the brightest of the World and those adjudged as possessing leadership potentials to shape the New Millennium. He was the only recipient of the prestigious Award from West Africa.

Since his election in 2003, this self-made entrepreneur has made Education and Youth Development cardinal parts of his legislative and development agenda for the people.
Doubtless one of the most experienced elected political office holders in Lagos State, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi has outstandingly defended the tenets of democracy, rule of law, good governance and an advocacy of the rights of the State he represented in the Nigerian Senate to self-determination.

Address delivered by Ashamu Sewanu Fadipe

Mr. Tokunbo Afikuyomi sees the world as a global village. “We are all connected to each other.” Therefore the presentation starts about globalization. Tourism is a global activity and economy. The world has become a connecting place and has global customers.

In the South countries are often labeled as third world countries. Mr. Tokunbo Afikuyomi wants to add a label to this, namely fourth world countries. People in these fourth world countries get lots of children, which mostly don’t receive education. This leads to unemployment. The people living in these countries have limited economic resources. They mostly import their goods and have high loans.
Nowadays lots of less developed countries have adopted tourism to reach economic growth. The speaker gives some examples and highlights the island of Barbados. Barbados has lots of resort tourism, the locals however do not benefit from this tourism since they are not involved. “Tourism should assist people in their development."
There are several problems that Nigeria is facing when it comes to tourism. At the moment there are few direct flights from the North to the country. Travelers have to make a big detour before ending in Nigeria. The country faces problems in promoting itself. Foreign companies own the tourism sector. Local companies are not meeting the demands of tourists. Technical know-how is very low (there is an overall educational problem).

Mr. Tokunbo Afikuyomi mentions that there are lots of different beautiful things to explore in his and other African countries. Developed nations should help undeveloped nations to promote this and get the tourism industry running.
Furthermore Mr. Tokunbo Afikuyomi states that it is important to put in place a strategic plan before investing. Now plan after plan is implemented, but an overall vision is missing. An overall vision will help when the plan/project is finished the country to stand on its own feet.

Tourism is an instrument for economical development. Communities need to benefit from tourism spending.


Luigi Cabrini, Director, Sustainable Development, UN World Tourism Organization

Luigi Cabrini (Italy) holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Pisa and has completed postgraduate courses in International Law, History and Economics. From 1978 to 1982 he worked as a journalist and editor in Rome. In 1982 he began his career in the United Nations, and assumed increasing responsibilities in the fields of cooperation for development and refugees programmes for over 20 years in Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan, Somalia, Switzerland, Poland and Spain.

Luigi Cabrini joined UNWTO in 2002 as Regional Representative for Europe. Since June 2007 he is the Director of the UNWTO Sustainable Development Department, whose mission is to promote the sustainable development of tourism in line with the Global Code of Ethics, and to contribute to worldwide socio-economic development, with special focus on the Millennium Development Goals. The Department undertakes research, develop manuals and provide guidance and training to member States, and other tourism stakeholders, on sustainable tourism policies and their application to tourism destinations.

Luigi Cabrini speaks fluently Italian, English, French and Spanish and has a basic knowledge of Polish and Russian. He is the author of various articles, speeches and papers.
The World Tourism Organization is the United Nations’ specialized agency for tourism. As such, it is the principal worldwide forum for matters concerning tourism policy and a practical source of technical knowledge and statistics on the sector.


Tourism is a growing economic activity. The growth of tourism in developing countries is much higher than in the developed ones. Therefore the UNWTO sees a lot of potential in this sector to contribute to the economic growth in developing countries. The UNTWO developed a couple of theoretical tools, since they saw that there was a lot of leakage in these countries. These tools are created to help these countries receiving a higher percentage from the tourism spending themselves.

Tourism is a good sector for reaching economic growth since it affects lots of other sectors to, it is an labor intensive sector, it reaches the poorest and has lots of side benefits in cultural, social and material areas.

Since Mr. Cabrini believes tourism has lots of positive impacts there are some constraints that limit his work. The economical crisis, at the moment, has its impact on the tourism industry. Furthermore the climate change is a major challenge, since there is a relationship between tourism and climate change.


Janos Damon, Executive Director, Israel Hotel Managers Association

No biography available at this time.


“War is the enemy of tourism, but we can use war as a marketing tool." Despite the conflicts and wars in the Middle East, tourism is booming in this area. For countries like Egypt and Jordan tourism is an very important sector.

There are several reasons for tourist to visit the Middle East, such as: history, religion and recreation. Lots of people are already aware of this, but also lots are not visiting. This is caused by the negative image. There should be looked at ways to improve the image.
Cooperation between Middle Eastern countries is therefore needed. In this way tourism can be a catalyst for peace. It can bridge the divides. In the Middle East there are several divisions, when looking at the gains, which can be reached from tourism, these divisions might be overcome.