NIHOTOUR seeks partnership with NATOP to rid tourism industry of quacks

Posted on: July 15, 2023, by :

The Director General of the National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Kangiwa has called for collaboration between the institute and Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) to rid the industry of quacks.  Kangiwa made the call while delivering his speech at the 2023 Annual General meeting (AGM) of the NATOP currently going on in Ekiti State. The NIHOTOUR boss said: “By now, I am sure that every NATOP member, and indeed, everyone in this AGM knows that NIHOTOUR, by the recently assented act of parliament, is established to not only train, but additionally, the institute is mandated to certify and register all personnel in Nigeria’s hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors. To this end, NIHOTOUR seeks your cooperation and partnership to rid the industry of quackery and to, overtime, improve the quality of tourist services which is the cornerstone of tour operations in Nigeria.

“As the Director General of NIHOTOUR, I pledge to you that my doors are always open to support NATOP members’ continuous professional development, for the eventual entrenchment of hospitality and tourism global best practices in Nigeria.”

 He commended the leadership of NATOP under Mrs. Ime Udo and also members of the association for this year’s AGM  theme, saying the theme was in sync with the UNWTO World Tourism Day 2023 theme: “Tourism and Green Investments – Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity”.

He said: “Indeed, the UNWTO, in choosing this year’s theme, clarified that, (I quote), “the UNWTO has identified investments as one of the key priorities for tourism’s recovery and future growth and development. For World Tourism Day 2023, UNWTO highlights the need for more and better-targeted investments for people, for planet and for prosperity. Now is the time for new and innovative solutions, not just traditional investments that promote and underpin economic growth and productivity.

“Accordingly, as the Director General of NIHOTOUR, I dare say that, the leaderships of both NATOP and the UNWTO couldn’t have chosen a more pragmatic and germanane theme relevant for Nigerian tourism and the global tourism industry. Because, in essence, the tourism industry, both in principle and practice is pro-people, and easily leads to inclusive economic growth for practitioners and host communities, if investments are strategically thought-through.”

Ahead of the AGM, National President of NATOP, Mrs. Ime Udo, had expressed high expectations for ‘lively discussions and productive dialogues that will shape the future of the tourism industry Ekiti State and in Nigeria as a whole.

She said: “They (Ekiti Government) basically wanted us to shift our event to accommodate their expectations, but this then again, this is our AGM, it cannot be postponed. Maybe some other event can, but not the AGM. The show must go on then,” she said.

According to Mrs. Udo, who has remained upbeat on the AGM, the event will serve as platform ‘for bringing together industry stakeholders, tour operators, government officials, and other key players in the tourism sector.’

“This gathering will provide an invaluable opportunity for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. I anticipate lively discussions and productive dialogues that will shape the future of the tourism industry Ekiti State and in Nigeria as a whole.

“One of my key expectations for the AGM is to foster partnerships and collaborations that will drive the sustainable growth of the tourism sector. By facilitating interactions between tour operators and relevant government agencies, we aim to establish a conducive environment for tourism development. I believe that through collective efforts, we can address challenges, explore new opportunities, and promote Nigeria as a preferred tourist destination.

“Another important focus of the AGM will be knowledge sharing and capacity building. I expect the event to feature informative sessions and presentations by industry experts. By enhancing the knowledge and skills of our members, we can elevate the quality of tourism services in Nigeria and provide enriching experiences to both domestic and international visitors.

“Lastly, I expect the AGM to be a celebration of our achievements as an association and an opportunity to recognize outstanding contributions to the tourism industry. We will acknowledge and honor exceptional tour operators, destinations, and initiatives that have made significant strides in promoting tourism in Nigeria. This recognition will inspire others and encourage continuous innovation and excellence in our field,” said Mrs Udo.

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