Gastronomy Festival 2023: NIHOTOUR plans bumper package
The Management of National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) has announced plans to host Gastronomy Festival, at the sprawling Abuja International Conference Centre, on June 16 and June 17, 2023.
NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival is conceptualised to up skill Nigerian gastronomes on nitty-gritties of the preparation and presentation of foods, especially Nigerian traditional cuisines, with the objective of improving the expertise of personnel in the industry.
It is empirically evident that Gastronomy is currently one of the main tourism ‘push and pull’ factors that attract travellers to a destination. Hence, gastronomy has become a strategic tourist product that contributes to employment of host community’s youths and women, creation of wealth for investors, increased revenue streams for governments, and improving the value – chain of producing quality foods and processing the foods to hotels and catering outlets for tourism.
This year’s event with the theme, Culinary Arts: The Gateway to Growing Tourism Destination, is the third consecutive food and beverage exhibition and sampling event organized yearly by NIHOTOUR, since 2021.
Due to the dearth of skilled culinary artists in Nigeria, NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival provides one of the best opportunities for hospitality and tourism stakeholders, students, and enthusiasts to have hands-on learning and perspectives on the sustainability of developing tourism destinations using activities of Gastronomy Festivals as promotional tools.
Also, with the preeminent of ‘Bush Meat’ hunting, using traps, in Nigeria, which inadvertently endangers wildlife and hinders Nigeria’s wildlife conservation efforts, the Gastronomy Festival will copiously advocate for Responsible Tourism practises in Nigeria.
The initiative is one of the largest and most culturally eclectic culinary arts and related gastronomy events in Africa. The event attracts over 5000 visitors and industry stakeholders who participate in the experiential learning of food production processes and indulge in free sampling of diverse Nigerian and international cuisines and beverages on display. Typically, the festival is laced with traditional gaiety and entertainments that highlight Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, including musicals and dance choreography.
Disclosing highlights of the 2023 Gastronomy Festival, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NIHOTOUR, Nura Sani Kangiwa, said the event will feature, amongst others, exhibition of indigenous gastronomy by prominent exhibitors such as NIHOTOUR, others, that would as usual, showcase indigenous Nigerian cuisines from the six-geopolitical zones of the country.
This year’s event will attract more foreign missions and corporate Nigeria brands involved in food and beverage processing, research, and development.
Following the successes of previous NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festivals, activities slated for this year’s 2-day event include Nigerian food and beverage exhibition by NIHOTOUR and other leading restaurant franchises; international cuisines showcasing by foreign missions in Nigeria; cooking competition by Nigerian culinary schools, ‘Jollof War’ by select West African chefs; and investiture of NIHOTOUR Fellowship on outstanding individuals who have immensely contributed to the development of Hospitality and Tourism sectors in Nigeria.
There would also be conferences involving Nigeria’s leading tourism and hospitality stakeholders and business operators, as members of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN). Additionally, NIHOTOUR would deliver training and masterclass for members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Travel Writers (ANJET).
The facilitators slated for ANJET training include Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture; Mr. Buky Ponle, the Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria; and Peter Igho, the brain behind some of the most popular programmes on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) that enthralled households in the 1970s and the 1990s.