The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Nura Sani Kangiwa has stated that hiking and other forms of adventurous activities on the natural formations of the Jos Plateau is a potential mobiliser of sport, adventure and eco-tourism for the growth and development of tourism of the plateau creating jobs and empowering youths with its attendant multiplier effects on the economy of the state.
According to theajasanews.com, Kangiwa who made the statement during an adventure hiking tour of Ganwan Columnial Basalt Rock Formations in Riyom, Plateau state by participants of training workshop on tour guiding captioned; Promoting Eco-Tourism and Hiking in Nigeria, said God has endowed the state with natural scenic beauties of Waterfalls, Rock formation, plateau plains, lush vegetation among others, which if properly harnessed, can empower the people and curb youth restiveness by being a source of great revenue earning for government and income generation for the people of the state.
The Director General who was vividly elated by the warm reception and hospitable manner of members of the communities in the area visited, said the people should be carried along in the tourism development plans of the tourist sites as major players and critical stakeholders of the sector to achieve the much desired Community Based Tourism for Plateau state.
Also speaking during the hiking tour, Arch. Isaacs Sanda, Chairman of Trustees of the Wayfarers of Jos Hiking and Adventures Club, urged government to create an environment that would encourage hiking, including access roads and appropriate documentation of the trails.
Arch. Sanda further emphasized that stakeholders and key players in the industry should step up their game in the marketing and promotion of the country’s tourism potentials for both local and global patronage, noting that frequent hiking and adventurous activities at the tourist sites of Riyom rock formations and waterfalls will improve the growth and development of community-based tourism and empower the local communities economically, players in the industry should up their game in the marketing and promotion of the country’s tourism potentials for both local and global patronage.
The president of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Mrs. Ime Udo, was very moved by the breathtaking natural beauty and magnificent Riyom Columnial Basalt Rock Formations that Plateau State is blessed with. She noted that members of her association would take advantage of the chance to market these special tourism potentials in order to draw both domestic and foreign visitors to the locations.
On behalf of the NATOP members, Mrs. Udo thanked the management of NIHOTOUR, under the direction of Nura Kangiwa, for providing them with the chance to learn the necessary skills for tour guiding during the workshop as well as the chance to tour the natural scenic attractions of Plateau State and the leisurely adventure of hiking on Riyom Rock Formations.