At NIHOTOUR lecture, stakeholders canvas compulsory certification for tourism, hospitality operators
The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), during the week, held its annual Masters Lecture with a call for enhanced service delivery in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe made the call in his Keynote address at the event.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 Pandemic, which came with its attendant lockdown of human movements and activities dealt decisively with the tourism and hospitality industry. But as things gradually return to normalcy, Otunba emphasised the need for NIHOTOUR to take its rightful place to enable it to provide the required manpower for the recuperating industry.
He decried that the major tourism institution in the country should be so relegated due to ignorance of its relevance to the growth of tourism.
To boost the country’s image locally, particularly in the face of international tourists, Otunba canvassed a legal framework that will make NIHOTOUR certification compulsory for anyone who desires to work in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Anyone willing to work in the industry in Nigeria must be certified by NIHOTOUR”, he said.
Speaking on hotel grading, the D.G of NCAC held that over 80 per cent of hospitality outfits in Nigeria falls below one star as no state government is willing to spend on standard hotels.
Runsewe stressed that NIHOTOUR remains very relevant in the development of human capital to service the industry. According to him, without special content from NIHOTOUR, it will be difficult to market the country’s tourism potentials. Unfortunately, the agency has been sleeping for a long.
“But it is time for action because NIHOTOUR is crucial in capacity building. It is for tourism and hospitality operators what Law School is for lawyers. It is our own industry’s school and we must recognize it as such.
“NIHOTOUR has the capacity to package training programmes for the industry within a short period.”
Runsewe further listed effective communication, teamwork, and necessary skills and capacity as prerequisites for the development of the industry.
Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura S. Kangiwa, in his remarks, stated that the aim of the lecture was to attract hospitality and tourism intellectuals who can provide informative, engaging and interactive lectures on myriads issues that are germane to the development of the sector in Nigeria.
This year’s lecture has as a theme, ‘Sustaining the Games of Hospitality and Tourism Research in a Changing World.
The D.G reminded his guests of the unprecedented crises confronting the hospitality and tourism sector and the need to evolve means of meeting the ever-changing needs occasioned by the crises.
“No doubt, the industry has had to deal with different crises and viruses earlier. However, the magnitude of this present crisis and its devastating effects on operations, employees, and customers is unrivaled compared to previous crises.
“The unprecedented challenge caused by the COVID-19 era has not only dealt with the hospitality industry and the academia but has also presented researchers opportunities to shift research focus towards initiating solutions for the industry.
“This edition of lectures is dedicated to studies that promote new ideas, models, approaches, and paradigms that contribute to the development of knowledge and theory of hospitality marketing and management in the COVID-19 era business environment”, he said.
As a research and allied institution, the D.G informed that NIHOTOUR would work hard to improve on its overall impact.
The event was graced by heads of agencies in the culture and tourism segment of the Ministry of Information and Culture.