The ECOWAS Commission says it is set to implement its Regional Tourism Policy that will ensure viable tourism development and enhance the overall economic growth in the region.
This was revealed during the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee at the ongoing Ordinary Session of its Parliament in Abuja on Thursday.
The joint committee is on Trade, Customs and Free Movement, and Legal and Judicial Affairs and the report relates to the referral of the commission on ECOWAS Regional Tourism Policy and ECOTOUR Action Plan 19 to Plan 29.
The policy plan is to be adopted by the commission for the period of 2019 to 2029.
The policy aims to harmonise tourism development in the region to increase youth employment and private sector participation through the development of sustainable businesses and contributing to economic growth.
The report by the Nigerian Television Authority said that the policy approach would also focus on heritage protection and preservation, ensuring professionalism of stakeholders and harmonisation and compliance with technical specifications by private operators.
It added that it would also focus on the creation of an intraregional market and the promotion of both the ECOWAS destination and the ECOWAS Vision 2020.
The committee noted in its report that the ECOTOUR 19 to 29 action plan served as a roadmap for the implementation of the regional policy.
It noted that the objective of the action plan is to make the region a first-class tourist destination in Africa.
The committee, however, observed that the high costs of travel and accommodation and security challenges discouraged local tourism in the region.
According to the report, the members of Parliament urged governments to speedily address challenges militating against regional growth and development to ensure the success of the policy plan.
It added that the joint committee further recommended the referral for the adoption of the plenary.