The National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), organized a two days training program for Tour guides and tour operators in Jos, with participants from the 17 local governments of Plateau State, as well as stakeholders from Lagos and Abuja.
The Executive Governor, who was represented by Hon. Barrister Samuel Kwankur, Special adviser on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation lauded NIHOTOUR for the initiative, stating that Plateau State has one of the most viable tourism sites in Nigeria with the potential for economic and sustainable development of the State which can create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths.
He debunked false news regarding insecurity in the state, promising that the Government would establish a NIHOTOUR Training center in Plateau State.
The Director General National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, Nura Sani Kangiwa, stated in his welcome remark that Plateau State tourism resources are unique and next to none in Nigeria.
According to Kangiwa the state is rich in Eco-tourism, diverse wildlife, Safari park, Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Solomon Lar Amusement park, Jos Zoo, Kura Falls, Pansan games reserves, Kahwang Rocks formation, and many more.
The Director General said as a modest contribution to the development of the industry, NIHOTOUR is organizing this training for tour operators and destination managers on selling hiking experience as a tour package.
Nura Kangiwa described various tourist sites in Plateau, stating that Jos museum was founded in 1952, and it is Nigeria’s first museum – situated at the foot of a free-covered granite mountain named Coronated Hill. Explaining that it has an accumulation of Terra Cotta Sculptures of Nok Culture as its most distinguished features.
Also, the Wase Rock, which is a striking dome-shaped inselberg with a towering height of 45 meters and is one of the only five breeding places for the White Pelican in Africa. The Assop Falls is along the way to Abuja.
Dignitaries in attendance are the Executive Governor of Plateau State Solomon Lalong, represented by Hon. Barrister Samuel Kwamkur Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation. Director General Institute For Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Dr. Bakut T. Bakut said that the government of Plateau State set up the Peace and Conflict Resolution Agency to resolve the dispute between aggrieved parties, this has brought peace to Plateau State.
Mrs. Tamwak, the Honorable Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture, was represented by Mr. Isaac Maram, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
Mr. Ikechi Uko a Consultant and the organizer of the AKWAABA African Travel Market and publisher of Africa Travel Magazine in his welcome remark said that the white Pelican is a global bird with followers, which means a potential market for bird watchers. He reiterated that tour operators should take advantage of the global demand for hiking.
Mrs. Ime Udo, President of the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators. (NATOP), appreciated the government of Plateau State and NIHOTOUR for the initiative, promising that NATOP will package tours for tourists to come into Jos Plateau.
The Director General of NIHOTOUR concluded that this is the beginning of good things happening in the tourism sector in Plateau State. The benefits of the training, he said, will generate a positive impact on the growth of the sector, as a lot of people will register under the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators (NATOP) thereby making a career as tour operators, hence it will create more jobs for the unemployed youths and lead to Wealth creation and sustainable development of the Industry.