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Plateau State Government promises support for tour operators


Governor Lalong and his wife leading the parade during the Jos Carnival. PHOTO: matthewteghaBLOG

As part of its commitment to reclaim its foremost position in tourism, particularly as the ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’, Plateau State government has promised to support the Nigerian tour operators.

The State Commissioner for Tourism, Mrs. Tamwakat Weli made the pledge in a message to Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), the national umbrella body for all tour operators and those engaged in allied services, when the President of the Association, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung was hosted to a reception on a pre-event visit to Jos, after the postponement of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to the of April 9, 2018.

Weli told the NATOP President that Plateau State is ready to host the biggest tourism experts in Nigeria and will showcase the best of the culture and hospitality of Plateau.

She said, “There is a need for professional tour operators to visit Plateau to see for themselves the rich asset we possess and that is why we seek to partner with NATOP. We as a state have been looking for partners to promote and position ourselves and we are delighted that the professionals are coming. It is our hope that they will enjoy themselves and go home as Ambassadors of Plateau Tourism.”

NATOP for the first time is holding its AGM in the northern part of country, and the choice of Jos for the AGM is to demonstrate that the state is safe for tourism. President of the Association, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, had in Lagos disclosed that Plateau had been a leading tourism destination though challenged by insecurity.

According to Onung, the Association Jos for the AGM to reinforce the fact that Plateau is safe for tourism and NATOP needs to discover and expose new locations to tour professionals, adding that the state needed to strongly showcase its tourism potential.

“Nigeria is blessed, and Plateau is so rich in tourism potential that we should start repositioning Plateau as a way of growing tourism in Nigeria. The Association need to discover and expose new locations in the state to tour professionals,” he said.

With the AGM theme as: ‘Security Challenges and Promotion of Tourism in Nigeria’, Onung explained that this year’s AGM is a ground-breaking event that will celebrate the speedy growth of tourism and its efforts in nation-building, adding that the event will also be devoted to discussing issues such as policies, advocacies, promotion and marketing as regards tourism.

“This is the first time the Association will hold its AGM in the northern part of Nigeria. We held the last AGM in Lagos; it was held in Calabar the year before. It is a pleasure that the first event outside Southern Nigeria will hold in Plateau State.

“As part of this year’s plan, there will be a one-day tour of Jos and its environs on April 8 before the AGM on the 9th at Hill Station Hotel. The Association seeks a more favourable environment for business growth and engagement in activities that will add more value to the Nigerian society,” he stated.

The Special Adviser to Governor on Tourism Mr. John Likita Best commended NATOP as a forward-looking association that has come in at the right time to support the efforts of the government and people of the state.

“It is a ground-breaking event, which among others will celebrate the speedy growth and success of tourism in nation building, and Plateau State tourism’s achievements to position itself as a major tourism destination in Nigeria including the NATOP’s contribution to these successes,” he said.

The 2018 AGM is an elective AGM and comes after a very successful year, where it successfully hosted a World Tourism Day boat cruise on the Lagos Lagoon and a tour of Epe in Lagos.

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