• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Ministry, NIHOTOUR to train tour operators

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The Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), is set to train tour operators and tour guides in Ekiti State, as part of the EcoGenesis Incubator Series.

The training will be held for two days, running from March 31 to April 1, 2024.

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Ekiti State Bureau for Tourism Development is expected to host the training, as well as nominate local tour operators and guides to participate in the exercise.

The EcoGenesis Incubator Series in Ekiti State is coming on the heels of the success of the maiden edition recently held in Makurdi, Benue State.

It would be recalled that EcoGenesis Incubator Series, an initiative of Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism, is a sustainable tourism entrepreneurship programme targeting residents of tourist host communities including; women, the youth and small cottage services that form part of destination experience for visitors.

This is the second edition of the programme being executed across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

Speaking on the training, Ade-John noted that the capacity of host community tourism and hospitality operators, including tour operators and tour guides, are central to the overall destination experience of tourists, both domestic and inbound tourists.

“Therefore, it is essential that the government provides facilities for basic training, retraining and upskilling of personnel working in the sector, across the country.

“With the EcoGenesis Incubator Series, the government is providing a dynamic platform that will catalyze innovation and drive economic empowerment of citizens and service providers in tourism host communities and destinations. This will eventually lift many out of poverty by leveraging on the abundant tourism opportunities inherent in our communities across the Nation,” she said.

NIHOTOUR has been extensively involved in delivering training and skills development programmes of the EcoGenesis Incubator Series, since the inception of the programme, in line with legislations guiding its establishment as an agency to train, certify and register all personnel in Nigeria’s hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.

Remarking on the event, Nura Sani Kangiwa, director general of NIHOTOUR, said: “Globally, in tourism development management, tour operators and tour guides are the levers of the destination tourism push and pull factors. It is the industry actions of tour operators and tour guides that determine tourists’ arrivals and receipts in host communities. Tourism products, both domestic and inbound, are generally packaged by tour operators and guides resident in the destination.”

NIHOTOUR is also the coordinator of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN), an umbrella organization consisting of industry associations and allied operators in the country. The HTSSCN exists to fill the demand skills gap in Nigeria’s tourism and hospitality occupational trades.