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Expert urges FG to invest in agro-tourism to raise income

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to invest in agro-tourism to raise revenue.

Dr Osuji Outi, UNESCO National Professional Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that agro-tourism was a form of niche tourism considered a growing industry in many parts of the
world.

“Agric-tourists can choose from a wide range of activities that include: picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses and tasting honey.

“Others are: wine making, cheese making, or shopping in farm gift shops where hand-crafted gifts both local and regional can be purchased, “ Outi said.

According to him, agricultural tourism or agro-tourism is one alternative for improving the incomes and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities.

He expressed optimistic that agro-tourism could contribute to building a successful programme that could enhance a community, create employment opportunity and alleviate poverty.

The UNESCO official also stressed the need for basic standard to be set in the hospitality industry, adding that it would bring about growth and development in the sector.

He said that there was also the need to train and retrain staff in the hospitality industry.

“Part of the standard in the hospitality industry is to have adequate and modern facilities and to train and retrain staff to give customers good services, “ he said.

Outi urged the three tiers of government to provide good roads, security and basic amenities for hospitality industry to flourish in the country.