Africa: Nigerian tourism experts, NIHOTOUR seek partnership, capacity building for growth in sector

NIHOTOUR

Collaboration and capacity development among tourism sector operators and stakeholders have been identified as major factors that can trigger sustainable development in the industry.

These formed the entire discussion by participants during the Naija Seven Wonder webinar session, recently organised by Akwaaba Africa Travel and Tourism Market.

According to them, partnership of real value will support, flourish and grow tourism business in the country. As part of business strategy to bring unique qualities to further the aims and scope of tourism, the stakeholders identified partnership deals as viable sustainable for global tourism investment.

They emphasized that getting involved in partnership with like-minded practitioners is a recipe for business sustainability.
According to newstrends.ng, the Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, Nura Kangiwa, during the webinar restated NIHOTOUR’s commitment to train hospitality, tourism operators.

He stressed that NIHOTOUR and Akwaaba African Travel and Tourism market had set goals plan to improve the status of tourism industry across Nigeria.

The NIHOTOUR DG restated the institute’s commitment to training hospitality and tourism operators and to further enhance the continuous improvement of the tourism industry.

He said, “The core mandate of the institute is to provide professional basic, intermediate and advanced training for individuals interested in the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Application for training would be welcomed as the institute operates nine campuses in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Osogbo, Enugu, Benin and Makurdi.

“With NIHOTOUR’s certification, individuals should be assured of working in any tourism and hospitality outfit in the country and beyond.”

“We are improving constantly and we remain committed to rendering the needed training every hospitality or tourism operator desires.

“We have seasoned and experienced instructors for this task and we must realise that training is key to functioning properly in the hospitality and tourism industries,” he said.

NIHOTOUR’s Academic Secretary, Philip Maga, Who also featured in the webinar, encouraged Nigerians to patronise the institute.

He lamented the disposition of most Nigerians to foreign training.

He added that no foreign training could match what NIHOTOUR would offer its graduates.

Maga also charged hotel managers in the country to dignify their job portfolios. He asked them to crave respect for the profession by ensuring standard and satisfactory service delivery.

He revealed that the institute was established to bridge the knowledge gap between graduates from the University and Polytechnic in the areas of attitudinal behaviour and skills.

He said, “We need support from stakeholders, Nigerians are faced with the problem of not taking pride in being trained within the country, they prefer to go out of the country to study more.

“People must understand the value of NIHOTOUR’s certification and the need for constant skill upgrade in the tourism and hospitality industries.

“We have restructured our curriculum to allow for internship in the workplace before graduation, to give room for additional knowledge and proper understanding of the skill,” he said.

Also NIHOTOUR’s Head, Tourism Development, Enenta Edwin, said that the institute’s training had gone beyond mere theory, adding that NIHOTOUR was capable of transforming the entire tourism and hospitality industries with the support of the stakeholders.

NIHOTOUR’s Head, General Studies, Dr Taiwo Famogbiyele, said the institute would be embarking on some research work to ensure it becomes a bankable reference point in terms of data generation.
He said, “We want to be known for producing bankable data so we are engaging stakeholders to carry out some research in order to have answers to some problems in the industry.

“We have also planned to wade into the challenge of unemployment in the country which had made some youths restive, embracing crime and all.

“We have also planned to develop skill acquisition programmes for the women and youths generally in the area of housekeeping and general cleaning, catering services and more.”

Speaking about the need for capacity building for operators , Founder, Akwaaba Africa Travel and Tourism Market, Ikechi Uko, maintained his consistent advocacy for government to synergise with tourism investors in Nigeria in the area of growing the tourism businesses.

He also unveiled plans to use the Akwaaba platform in training individuals aspiring to be Nigeria’s tourism ambassadors.

By Ebere Chibuzor

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