The Cross River State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development, Mr. Eric Iso Anderson, has stated that Cross River, as the tourism capital of Nigeria understands the value of tourism education and remains committed to its development.
Mr. Anderson who stated this during a courtesy call on the Head of Department, Tourism Studies Department, University of Calabar, Dr. Demetrus Okim Oba, at his office in University, said that “Educational Tourism is the bedrock of other forms of tourism. Government will remain relentless in ensuring quality tourism education across all levels of formal and informal learning because we can never forget how tourism put Cross River State out there”.
To set the ball rolling, the Commissioner promised a two -part field trip and master class to final year students and 50 students across first to third year of the Department to the newly revamped Kwa Falls, Akampka Local Government Area, to be organized by his Ministry.
An act he described as not only equipping the students with first-hand knowledge and experience but provide complementary marketing strategies for the tour sites across the State.
Looking to exploring other productive educational tourism outputs, Mr. Anderson said that there is need for key tourism Stakeholders to partner with the Federal and State Ministries of Education and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council for proper review of the current tourism curriculum in use in the State.
Responding, the Head of Department, Tourism Studies Department, University of Calabar, Dr. Demetrus Okim Oba, thanked the Commissioner and his team for understanding the importance of educational tourism, keying into it in thoughts, words and actions.
Appreciating Mr. Anderson and the Ministry for the proposed field trip to Kwa Falls, Dr. Oba said the students would be highly elated with the development, promising to communicate a date for the trip to the Ministry.
Dr. Oba disclosed that Tourism Studies Department in the University of Calabar, which will be commencing its Post Graduate programmes soon, is in line with the State Government’s tourism projections to educate students extensively on the nitty-gritty of tourism market and business in Nigeria and contemporary trends on the foreign scene.
The immediate past HOD of the Department, Associate Prof. Eja Iwara Eja, said tourism is so broad and that other ways to enhance tourism productivity is the training and certification of tourism Stakeholders.
The Permanent Secretary, MCTD, Mr. Emmanuel Enene Eke, the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism, Mr. Jon Atsu, the Director Tourism, MCTD, Mr. Daniel Akeke, a Lecturer, TSD, Dr. Christopher Diminyi, amongst others attended the courtesy visit.