By Palma Ileye
Plateau State Government has expressed its interest and readiness to partner with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, in the training of skilled manpower that will effectively harnessed and efficiently provide quality service delivery to grow the enormous tourism potentials that the state was endowed with.
Governor Samuel Bako Lalung of the state who made the statement while declaring opened a training workshop titled; ‘Promoting Eco-Tourism and Hiking in Nigeria’ organized by NIHOTOUR on Tour Guide Operations for Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Hikers and other stakeholders in the tourism sector in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, noted that the vast tourism potentials of the state can best be tapped, managed and made economically beneficial to the people when personnel running the sector are adequately trained in the various operational trades of the industry.
Lalung who spoke through the Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship and job Creation, Hon. Barrister Samuel Kwamkur, said it was the desire of the Plateau State Government to have NIHOTOUR establish a training centre in the state for the training of skilled personnel in all facets of tourism and hospitality trades which will further boost and promote tourism and hospitality industry, a sector that the state was best known for nationwide as the ‘Home of Peace, Tourism and Hospitality.’
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Sani Kangiwa re-emphasized on the importance of tourism in terms of being the highest employer of labour and job creation globally, stressing that to optimally benefit from the business opportunities offered by the tourism industry, operators of the sector must be adequately trained on the requisite skills which was what NIHOTOUR was established to accomplish.
Kangiwa stated further that the Institute has since its establishment been in the forefront in providing trained and skilled manpower that was driving the country’s Travel Tourism and hospitality industry, achieving the best 10 International Air Travel Association, IATA, training centres in Africa, an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO and the Coordinator of Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skill Council of Nigeria among many others.
The Director General then called on practitioners as well as new entrants of the travel tourism and hospitality industry trades to seize the opportunity offered by NIHOTOUR to train and acquire the necessary skills for optimal performance in quality service delivery.
The training workshop which was attended by members of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, NATOP, Wayfarers of Jos, Hiking and Adventures Club among others, had distinguished practitioners of the sector in the country and friends of the industry, including Mrs. Ime Udoh – NATOP President; Ikechi Uko – Organizer of AKWAABA Africa Travel Market; Dr. Bakut T. Bakut – Director General of IPCR among others present Goodwill messages extolling the great achievements of NIHOTOUR in bringing quality-skilled training to personnel of the industry across the country.